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 germanhoops.com have teamed up for a diary from the BBL tournament in Munich
A tough 95-66 loss against Rasta Vechta. Was the tough 85-83 loss to the EWE Baskets like that final game and take the steam out of you?
I honestly felt we ran out of gas that game against Vechta. Hats Off to them. They played great. However, I’m proud of our team.
How proud are you of your teammates who didn’t hang their heads in the third quarter, but kept battling as well as they could?
I’m very proud of them. They fought extremely hard throughout the tourney.
Crailsheim played with an all German starting 5 and without any Americans. What do you feel did head coach Tuomas Iisalo take out of this experience where he had to make not your normal adjustments?
I felt like he made the best adjustments possible to put the team in a position to win despite being short handed.
The Crailsheim Merlins went 0-5 in the Munich tournament but gained many new fans for their never ending fight mentality. What is your summary of the Munich Tournament having played and cheered on your teammates?
I felt like it’s been established since preseason that we will stick and fight together whether we win, lose, or draw. It was just tough not getting that last win. But we fought.
One of the big winners was Sebastian Herrera who we have spoken about in past interviews. He has always been a scorer, but did you also notice a rise in his playmaking skills?
I felt Seba is an underrated passer. He’s definitely gotten better throughout the course of the year.
It was a crazy season for the Crailsheim Merlins. They had a Cinderella season before COVID-19 hit and then finished in 10th place in Munich. Is it very disappointing that COVID-19 robbed the organization of possible greatness?
I believe there were no disappointments from this season. No tournament will decide or take away what we’ve done all year. No matter what, everyone in the BBL respects us as players and even as coaches based on what we did majority of the year before COVID. What we learned in Munich as a team was that we all have an extra limit we can tap into despite the difficulty during or ahead.
What positives can you take from the Munich tournament? There are some very interesting matchups in the quarterfinals. What club do you see taking it all?
I can see ALBA winning it all.
What was your personal highlight in Munich on and off the court? Will it in a way be strange leaving Munich. What do you believe will you actually miss from the Munich experience and what are you most looking forward to?
Just supporting the team and interacting with other players and coaches at the hotel.
What is the next step for you? Could you imagine staying in Crailsheim and writing history next season in the BBL?
I’m just looking forward to getting back home to my wife and family. Right now my focus is on getting my thumb healthy and enjoying family.
Thanks Javontae for the chat.