In the last year and a half nothing has been normal as the whole world has experienced very very hard times with COVID-19. Obviously nothing ever can match the sadness of millions of people dying on account of COVID-19 so for a professional basketball player to miss a whole season due to injury can be seen more as a side note in comparison to precious lives being lost. Javontae Hawkins (196-G-93, college: Fordham, agency: Higher Vision Sports) is more than blessed to be alive during COVID-19 and been able to survive so any other type of hardships that he witnessed is just like adding a P.S when you have forgotten to add something at the end of a letter. The upbeat American was unable to play last season due to injury after having played his best season as a professional with the Hakro Merlins Crailsheim in 2019-2020. He was rewarded after a fantastic season with the big surprise team of 2019-2020 Hakro Merlins Crailsheim by being able to make the next step with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg another club that continues to make massive steps up due to the first class coaching methods of John Patrick. But the Basketball God had something different in mind for him as he unluckily tore his ACL in a pre season battle against his ex team Crailsheim. So instead of being able to be a part of another winning season with new team Ludwigsburg, the American who hails from Huntington, West Virginia saw his season go a totally different route as rehab and surgery was as present in his vocabulary as title, title, title is at the moment for Phoenix Sun Chris Paul. On top of that he also had to struggle like every other human being with COVID-19. He could of easily wrote a book about his troubles and the ‘Uncomfortable Grind’ could have been the perfect title. ‘It was definitely tough to sit out last season due to injury, however I learned a lot sitting out, I didn’t know how mentally strong I was until I had to sit out and do what I call ‘The Uncomfortable Grind’. With it being the most challenging time in my career I still found peace and had support from current and former coaches and teammates. My wife and Dad were the most motivating during this time as well’, remembered Javontae Hawkins.
The American who didn’t go the normal NCAA route with one team but actually battled on the floor with three schools with South Florida, Eastern Kentucky and Fordham not only had the nasty ACL injury and COVID to deal with in 2020, but also a brutal financial confrontation with his former team Crailsheim. One could of thought like the basketball God really had it in for him last year, but at least the money side got sorted out. ‘ I had my best professional season with the Hakro Merlins, however the money situation was eventually resolved in Crailsheim. I just feel that my mental was tested and God saw me through it all as I’m looking forward to making a remarkable comeback this upcoming season’, warned Javontae Hawkins. He will never forget his Crailsheim season, because it will forever be one of those what if seasons as he felt the club could of finished at the top. He also will never forget head coach Tuomas Iisalo who he sees being able to make the Telekom Baskets Bonn back into a winner again. ‘Tuomas, will change that organization and get them back on the winning side for sure. He will bring a certain toughness, grit and hunger out of his players. He is definitely one of the most underrated coaches in all of Europe. I expect nothing but great things to happen over there at Bonn under him’, warned Javontae Hawkins. Even if Covid-19 was a very negative experience for so many, it actually helped him in certain ways during his long road back to being 100% as a player. ‘It was tough with it being my first surgery, but it also helped me realize that I am a resilient, strong minded individual. I enjoyed the rehab process with the physios (Marco, Tobi, and Manu) at MHP they were some of the best out there and I appreciate them to the fullest. I feel Covid made me very strong as a man as well as a husband. It showed me that life is precious and we must protect and hold the one’s close to us very close’, stressed Javontae Hawkins.
Despite having the tough ACL injury, he was able to do his rehab process in Germany in Ludwigsburg and was able to follow the exciting MHP Riesen season. The American who respects Golden State Warrior Draymond Green for proclaiming he is the greatest defender in the world is blessed that he was in such good hands with the MHP Riesen medical staff, but seeing his teammates compete on a daily basis was very tough for his nerves and mind. ‘It was tough to sit and watch, but I was at every home game rooting and cheering them on and was glued to the tv watching my them during the away games. I was beyond proud of what they accomplished. I think I would’ve added more power, those guys were consistent all year’, expressed Javontae Hawkins. Not only the medical staff took good care of him, but he also appreciated the fact that head coach John Patrick who would check in on him and his wife on a regular basis. He was very fortunate to have been able to play with one of the top easyCredit BBL point guards Dwayne Russell in Crailsheim two years ago and last season could of done it again with MVP Jaleen Smith, but instead had to follow his rapid rise something he did with joy and is confident that they both would of done amazing things on the court. ‘Jaleen had an exceptional year. He definitely was consistent and showed that he was the MVP every night whether it was offensively or defensively. He made big plays down the stretch plenty of times all season long. His MVP was well deserved for sure. We meshed pretty well in practice in preseason before the injury so I’m pretty sure we would’ve made a great duo’, warned Javontae Hawkins. The guard who has also played in Greece and Finland is excited not only to play somewhere again, but also to see exactly where Dewayne Russell’s development will go this season. ‘That dude has heart. Me and him had the best connection on the court, I think he can show that he’s a TOP point guard in Europe this upcoming year. These past couple of years me and Dewayne (Weezy) become very close friends, we talk every week, our wives talk to each other very often as well too’, commented Javontae Hawkins.
The American who was born in Flint, Michigan and sees Chris Paul currently as a top 5 point guard of all-time and top 3 if he propels the Phoenix Suns to the NBA crown. His journey back to being 100% Javontae Hawkins the player was a strenuous road, but in the end all the effort was worth it since soon he will be able to play the game he loves again. ‘The negatives were the surgery and never really being injured to the point where I had to get surgery, however after I threw myself a pity party for a few days, I locked in and attacked rehab like never before and 8 months later I’m getting even more stronger physically and mentally. I just thank God for keeping me level headed, humble and in a positive state of mind through it all’, added Javontae Hawkins. He has been lucky that not only in Germany having had the best support from trainers, but also in California. ‘I believe my trainers were important in not only the physical part but the mental part as well by helping me trust my body again and get back to a new and improved version of myself. Even my trainers in California are doing the same as I continue to work and prepare for this upcoming season’, said Javontae Hawkins. Somestimes when a player returns after a very grueling injury and surgery, he won’t return back the way he was before it happened. Despite everything he went through, his mentality is very strong and he is confident that he will be a good player that will be able to help his team in so many different ways. ‘I don’t believe my game suffered at all. As unfortunate my injury was, I believe I’ve become a more mature, seasoned player who can still display athletic ability, shooting, defense and making my teammates better’, stressed Javontae Hawkins. He has been working very hard on his game so he will be best prepared no matter what league he plays in and has been focusing on certain aspects of his game most. ‘I’m working on making plays for others, making shots at a high and consistent rate, being a complete player as well as being able to do whatever is asked of me’, stated Javontae Hawkins. He is grinding and he is continuing to work on his skills and all he needs now is an organization that believes in him and will give him a opportunity. Sometimes after a brutal injury, clubs will be skeptical about a player and not take a risk, but he isn’t in the least worried about not finding a club soon. ‘The team search is going well. A lot of teams have reached out lately, I believe teams are anticipating me to come back more than being reserved or worried about what happened last year. I’m still young, and have a bright future ahead with lots of basketball left to play. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for this upcoming year’, warned Javontae Hawkins. The ex Huntington Prep great who believes that Coming To America should have been left untouched is at peace with himself at the moment and has a very positive mind set and ready to battle on the court again. The itch to get back on the court is as huge as Chris Paul’s will to win that chip and currently is looking forward most to three things. ‘ I’m just looking forward to smiling, having fun, and most importantly doing whatever it takes to win’, warned Javontae Hawkins.