Javontae Hawkins(Telekom Baskets Bonn) Knew When The Team Got Off The Plane In Malaga That They Would Be Crowned Champions

Foto credit Basketball Champions League

Javontae Hawkins (196-G-1993, college: Fordham) is a 29 year old 196cm forward from Huntigton, West Virginia playing his sixth professional season and second with the Telekom Baskets Bonn after starting the season with Limoges CSP Elite (France-Betclic ELITE ProA). Last season he had his first tour of duty with Bonn averaging 15.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 77.8%. In 20-21 he sat out because of injury. He played his third professional season with the HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim averaging15.9ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 79.4%. In 2018-2019 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 spoke togermanhoops.com after winning the 2023 Basketball Champions League.

You reached the Finish final in 2018 as a rookie and 5 years later you need just a little more than 2 months to win your first chip. How crazy is that?

It’s amazing. Man I can’t do nothing but be thankful to God right now. Incredible feeling!

Congrats on winning the Basketball Champions League title. Has it sunk in yet? How does your body feel in general when you’re a champion?

Thank you! No it hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s still an unreal feeling. Like I haven’t took my medal off yet. It feels great to win my first ever championship. I’m grateful!

Talk a little about the 15 hours between hearing the siren and landing in Bonn. How long did you sleep?

I didn’t sleep much at all. We were soaking in the moment.

After the thrilling win over Malaga how sure were you and the team about winning it all? Despite the valiant effort by Hapoel Jerusalem, was the Malaga the secret final game?

I felt from when we first stepped off the plane in Malaga that we were going to be crowned champions. Coach Iisalo always tells us ‘Find a way to win’ we put in so much work and humbling speaking we have more harder practices than hard games.

The final against Hapoel was another great game. In the first half Bonn as usual played their feisty defense allowing only 7 points. But in the second and third quarters Bonn allowed a total of 47 points. What adjustments did the opponent make in that phase?

I just felt we missed some key assignments starting with myself, I had some plays on defense where I could’ve did a lot better and also the offensive rebounding from Hapoel was crucial. They’re a great team.

What did head coach Tuomas Iisalo tell the team going into the fourth quarter. What adjustments did you make on the defensive end?

We didn’t make any adjustments we just did what we were supposed to do and that’s simply defend the way we do.

I personally saw Malaga as a lot stronger roster wise than Hapoel, but they gave all they had. How annoying was this team? What was key at the end was key team wise for getting the win?

I think it was tough guarding a lot of iso guys on 1 team. They had 3-4 iso guys on 1 team so it’s not easy but then again it works in our favor because iso basketball is easier to defend than tactical basketball.

Levi Randolph gave a spirited scoring battle with TJ Shorts. How menacing was he and what can one appreciate most from his game as a player?

He’s an elite scorer he has a high motor as well. Great player in my eyes.

TJ Shorts deserved the MVP award with 29 points and carried the team whenever he needed it. Does he secretly have a Super man cape under his jersey?

He definitely deserves MVP and has been consistent all year like none other. I believe he’s the heart and soul of the team and no one carries a team by himself we all have roles that help accommodate the team for a common team goal. And we did that!

You had a 7-1 record in your BCL season. How satisfied are you with your own game coming in and playing your role and helping win a title?

I’m very satisfied because I learned a lot playing a different more leadership/energetic role. People often looked at me as just a guy who can score but I think I showed I have an all around game upon my arrival back in Bonn

In the 2019-2020 season one already got a sense of what Tuomas Iisalo was capable of doing as he led the Hakro Merlins on an incredible season. Did it ever occur or dawn on you in that season that coach would win a title in the next years?

Of course. I believe that season was the start to it all. The players he had that year set the tone for the future teams he will continue to have. I often think on that season a lot because we were on to something special but to fast forward to now I think so many people see how great of a coach he is.

The season isn’t over as you began the playoffs in 24 hours. How beneficial will this title be mentally for the team as it begins it’s quest to win it’s second season title?

It simply brings momentum and swagger

The Niners played the Telekom Baskets Bonn tough and like every team will be gunning for you. What will be key in getting the series win?

Sticking to our identity. And focusing on us.

What are your predictions Lakers-Nuggets and Celtics-Heat and who will win it all?

Nuggets, Celtics and I’d say Nuggets or Celtics in 7.

Thanks Javontae for the chat.


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