Jeff Hawkins finished his Kansas basketball career in 2006, his fifth year with the program. He redshirted his freshman year and played 112 games with the Jayhawks from 2002 to 2006. He was born in Kansas City, Kansas, so he was born a Jayhawk (fitting considering his nickname is J-Hawk). An outstanding academic student (honor roll all four years in high school and was a National Merit semifinalist), he graduated with a bachelors degree in communications.
His senior season at KU, he played 19.5 minutes per game and had 5.4 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. He provided senior leadership to one of the youngest teams in the nation, one that had future NBA starts Julian Wright, Brandon Rush, and Mario Chalmers as freshman.
Hawkins recently accepted a head coaching position at Perry-LeComption High School, which is just outside of Lawrence. I asked him if he could answer a few questions about his KU career and what has happened since he graduated.
What was it like being a Jayhawk after being born in Kansas?
Being from Kansas and having the opportunity to play basketball at one of the top five programs in the country was great. Looking back on my journey helps me to now appreciate and cherish what I been through at the University of Kansas.
What was your most memorable game or moment from your career?
One of my most memorable game is from the 2006 Big 12 tourney championship game against Texas in which we won. Individually, my best game was most likely when I went 5-5 from the 3-point line against Baylor.
What leadership did you provide to the 2005-06 team, especially to Chalmers, Rush and Wright?
I tried to provide leadership for the young freshman by staying positive, lending a helping hand, telling stories on how I messed up when I was a freshman so that they wouldn’t make the same mistakes.
After having a successful season, how tough was it losing to Bradley?
It was tough losing to Bradley because the year before we lost to Bucknell in the first round as well. But in the end, I believe it made the Kansas Basketball program, as a whole, stronger.
Did it make you happy seeing Kansas win in 2008 and seeing your old teammates win?
I was very happy for the team to see them win the National Championship because I also felt like I won the National Championship as well. Thats how Kansas Basketball works… If they win, we win and if we win, they win. We are all family.
What has happened since you finished playing at KU?
After my career was over at KU, I went to Germany to play for about 3 month which I played well. I averaged about 15 points, four assists and two steals a game. I had some knee surgery which got me into coaching. I was an assistant basketball coach at Ellis High School where we fished 16-7. We lost in overtime by two points in the sub-state championship game.
You welcomed a son into the world in 2007. Tell us about him and is he a future Jayhawk?
My son was born February 27th, 2007, which was the day that changed my life forever. His name is Mavulous Mavrick Jeffrey Hawkins. He’s 3 now, very active, and interested in sports! To be honest, he is destined to be whatever he chooses…. Whether he wants to play sports or not, he will always have unconditional love from both of his parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts. So I guess you may have to ask him that question so he can answer it.
Tell us about your new job and also the basketball camp you are running.
I have recently accepted the Head Coach Position at Perry-LeCompton High School. I am very blessed and excited to be apart of these kids lives. I am holding a camp at LeCompton High School from June 1st to June 5th. Boys from 2nd grade to seniors are eligible to attend the camp as well as girls from 2nd grade to 8th grade.
Registration forms can be printed off the high school website and brought to the LeCompton Camp on June 1st. Contact Coach Hawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or cell 913-706-9455 regarding any questions.