From DeMatha to the Final 4

Akiel Warfield, staff writer

Jordan Hawkins, a basketball player for the UConn Huskies, is exciting viewers as the NCAA March Madness 2023 tournament unfolds. The young star has been showcasing his skills on the court, earning the most outstanding player in the west region while leading the Huskies to the Final 4, their first time since 2014. But the path to his success began at DeMatha Catholic High School.

Hawkins, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, became well-known during his time at DeMatha Catholic High School under legendary coach Mike Jones. Neal Murphy, a former basketball coach and player for DeMatha, described Jordan Hawkins as “a very skilled athlete” who “gained from playing at DeMatha with other elite athletes.” Some of the elite athletes he played with as a senior were Jr. Rodney Rice, who now plays basketball for Virginia Tech, Jr. Tyrell Ward, who now plays basketball for LSU, and So. Jason Moore, who has committed to play football at Ohio State.

When Hawkins was a senior at DeMatha, he averaged 19.7 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.3 steals, and 1.9 blocks per game. This led to offers from numerous basketball powerhouses. He helped DeMatha achieve an undefeated season and a WCAC title. Due to his season, Hawkins won the Gatorade Maryland Player of the Year award and ended up receiving a 4-star ranking. When it came time to choose a college, Hawkins decided to join the UConn Huskies.

Currently a sophomore, Hawkins is having a huge impact for UConn in this year’s March Madness. His recent games have been nothing short of spectacular, and they have been essential to the Huskies push for a possible national title. So far in the tournament, he has averaged 17.3 points, 3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists. But his last two performances have stood out the most.

In the Sweet 16, #4 seeded UConn played the #8 seeded Arkansas. This game, Hawkins scored 24 points, 3 assists, and 2 blocks, with UConn winning 88-65. His most recent game was the Elite 8 against #3 seed Gonzaga. Led by consensus first-team All-American Drew Timme, Gonzaga was one of UConn’s most formidable opponents, and came into the game listed as the favorites. Despite this challenge, Hawkins scored 20 points, with 6 rebounds and 1 assist, with UConn winning 82-54. 

The focus on Hawkins and the DeMatha community only gets brighter as UConn advances further in the tournament. The humble guard, however, never loses sight of the goal to return a championship to Connecticut.