Former Kentucky guard Dominique Hawkins pursuing a basketball future despite interest from NFL
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Five years removed from playing football, former Kentucky guard basketball Dominique Hawkins doesn’t know how NFL teams are even finding out about him.
“I have no idea,” said Hawkins, who worked out with the Philadelphia Eagles last week. “They contacted my mom, and I don’t have any idea how they’re getting her number. I have an agent for basketball. I guess they don’t get his contact. I’ve told him I really didn’t want to go into football right now.”
With Sacramento Kings lottery pick De’Aaron Fox to his right and Derek Willis, who signed with the Detroit Pistons, to his left, most of the questions Hawkins fielded on Tuesday were about football. The trio of former Wildcats were in Lexington Tuesday for John Calipari’s Kentucky pro camps.
Hawkins, known for his rangy defense on the court, is being tested as a defensive back in the NFL despite not even playing defense in his senior season at Madison Central in Richmond, Ky. He worked out with the Philadelphia Eagles last week, and the Dallas Cowboys showed up for one of his workouts with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kentucky listed him as 6-feet and 191 pounds last season.
Hawkins, who played in all 38 games with four starts in his senior season at Kentucky, said he still wants to pursue basketball despite some level of interest from the NFL. He set career-best marks in minutes, field goals, field-goal percentage, 3-pointers, 3-point field-goal percentage, free throws, free-throw percentage, rebounds, assists, steals and points in his senior season.
“I definitely have a passion for basketball,” Hawkins said. “I love it so much. I really don’t wanna leave it. But I’ve just given football a try, see what I’d do. I went to go do that workout last week. They told me I did pretty well for just coming back off basketball.”
Hawkins has never been able to avoid football hypotheticals. He said there was a Kentucky football coach who joked to him about the possibility of playing two sports with the Wildcats, but even if the option existed, Hawkins said he would’ve declined.
“Everyone tells me I’m an NFL football player,” Hawkins said. “I remember my high school coach. He wanted me to play in college and was always telling me I’d be a top-3 round draft pick. I just had so much love and passion for basketball. It grew up as my first love, and I just want to continue and enjoy it.”