“I started playing when I was in fourth grade,” Hannah Hawkins said. “There was a league at the park that I joined.”
Although the two-time HCAC Defensive Player of the Year loves the sport, it wasn’t always her goal to play in college.
“I never saw it going anywhere,” Hawkins said. “Even in my senior year [of high school], I said I wasn’t going to play in college.
Hawkins explained that she enjoys basketball for the fun of it, not the competitiveness, and that she wasn’t interested in prolonging her career until she was scouted. It was then that she decided to give college ball a shot.
When Hawkins toured AU and became acquainted with the women’s basketball team, she knew she was in the right place.
During a typical day in the playing season, Hawkins stayed on a regular schedule.
“I got up, had my classes, I went to the training room to get whatever treatment I needed [that day]. Then I had practice that usually lasted up to three hours,” said Hawkins. “Sometimes we had an extra hour of weights after practice. Then, I went home, ate, did my homework and did it all again the next day.”
Hawkins attributed her balanced diet and exercise to her ability on the court.
“I generally eat pretty healthy,” Hawkins said. “I do notice that if I start eating fast food, I will be slower on the court.”
Hawkins stayed consistent in her nutrition and wellness during the season. She attempted to not overdo her workouts, but practiced shooting as often as she could.
During the offseason, Hawkins tried to run every day and emphasized her training on weights.
She said that the older she got, she began to understand the importance of strength training and said it improved her game immensely.
“I think I played one of my best seasons when I put more time in my offseason,” Hawkins said. “Without that, I wouldn’t have been coming in [to the new season] at my best.”
For some athletes, staying away from the game during the offseason is important, but Hawkins is quite the opposite.
“I do extra work, whether it’s with friends or not,” Hawkins said. “I think it’s really important to continue staying in the rhythm, and I enjoy it.”
Hawkins has had many accomplishments in her career at AU. She holds the AU records for career blocks and the blocks in a single game, as well as an all-HCAC honorable mention.
She also received second-team all-conference honors this past season, as well as being ranked 13 in the nation in blocks per game at 2.93 and being second in the HCAC at 9.5 rebounds per game.
“I realized that my role had switched since freshman year,” Hawkins said. “I had been focusing less on my offense and more on my defense and it was nice to see it pay off.”
After college, Hawkins plans to take time to herself before diving into the world of sales. The senior is graduating with a major in business and is done playing basketball competitively.
“It has been a rollercoaster [to play at AU],” Hawkins said. “I went through an 0-25 season, which was hard. But I have had a great group of girls to play with and awesome coaches who believed in me.”
Hawkins looks back on her journey at AU fondly. She said that it is bittersweet to see her playing career end, but that she has loved her time as a raven and has truly been blessed to play here.