Javontae Hawkins is a 26 year old 196cm forward from Huntigton, West Virginia playing his third professional season and first with the Crailsheim Merlins currently averaging 16,4ppg, 4,6rpg and 1,4apg. Last season he played with Holargos B.C. (Greece-A1) playing 29 games averaging 11.7ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 77.5%. As a rookie he played with the Salon Vilpas Vikings (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 54 games averaging 14.3ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 40.6%, FT: 79.9%. He played NCAA basketball at three schools with S Florida from 2012-2014 playing 54 NCAA games, then had his break out season with Eastern Kentucky (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 17.0ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 76.5% and finished at Fordham (NCAA) playing 31 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 84.3%. He and Eurobasket have teamed up for a diary from the BBL tournament in Munich
How you feeling this morning after that very exciting game against the EWE Baskets? Do you still have your voice?
I feel great. We fought hard once again. But came up short. Extremely proud of how the guys fought.
It was another tough loss for the Crailsheim Merlins. But with the circumstances and all was this the best played Merlins game of the Munich tournament?
By far the best game we displayed despite being short handed. Just shows how much character we have as a unit.
Talk a bit what was going through your head with 12 seconds to play and the 83-82 lead after the Sebastian Herrerra bucket? The club was so close to the win, but missed it. Now after sleeping on it, how could have the Merlins prevented that last Karsten Tadda lay up better?
I feel like we fought so hard, and executed the way we was supposed to. Tadda made an exceptional play and you just have to give credit where it’s due.
Fraport Skyliner Lamont Jones expressed his enthusiasm for Sebastian Herrera. This guy continues to improve each season. How have you monitored his development this season and how has his leadership grown in these tough times with so many injuries?
Seba Herrera has been great all season long. He’s has improved on and off the court. Bringing energy in the locker room, practice, and games. I commend him for his leadership and for bringing energy every practice and game. He’s going to have a bright future.
Just a few years ago Dejan Kovacevic was a talented player lost in FC Bayern Munich’s Pro B team and now has grown into a solid BBL player. Please explain how much he has profited from the injuries and more playing time?
Dejan is a special talent. I believe he’s grown a lot throughout the year despite seeing limited action. He’s eager to work hard and learn things to enhance his play. He’s going to have a bright future as he continues to work hard, and elevate his confidence. He’s a special player to me when he’s confident. Very skilled big! And great teammate on top of that.
Talk about the day after. How different is a day for an injured player at the tournament than for a player who is locked into knowing that he must do his job in the next game?
It’s no difference. My job is to still be laser sharp and locked in to help my teammates who are performing. This is time for me to grow more as a leader which is something I’m naturally am. But it allows me to see things from a different perspective.
How has Dewayne Russell been staying positive mentally in these times. Now that you both are out, have you found a new special bond in these tough times?
Dewayne is always positive. He’s been carrying himself like the professional he is even while being hurt. He’s been getting the proper treatment, being an extra voice to motivate the other players, bringing energy every practice and game day. Our bond was special from day 1 and we will have a friendship that will last a lifetime.
Despite not winning a game yet, the Merlins still can on Tuesday by winning the game for ninth place. How aware is the club that with a win and 9th place finish that you could still qualify for an international tournament next season?
Not really aware of what could happen next season, right now just focused on getting the win on Tuesday so that we can leave this tournament with our heads held high despite the injuries, and team losses.
Talk about an experience that you have had with a player in the last days that was cool. Is a guy like Jordan Crawford a guy you would like to get to know better if you had the chance?
For sure, JC is another Michigan legend. I’m from Flint and he’s from Detroit. I’d love to pick his brain a bit, hopefully him and I could get in the gym this summer to work out. He’s a pro, a scoring machine, and he seems like a cool guy, we definitely know a lot of mutual people from the Michigan area.
Who wins a one on one in practice you or Sebastian Herrerra?
aha me all day. I don’t lose in 1 on 1. I confidently, humbly feel that I’m the best 1 on 1 player in the BBL and one of the best in Europe. Not too many guards that can equally score in the post, mid range and from perimeter.
Thanks Javontae for the chat.