Ex-Cats

Dominique Hawkins worked out for NFL’s Eagles, but basketball still his priority

Former Kentucky players shoot with kids at basketball camp

Former Kentucky basketball players De’Aaron Fox, Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis talk about their involvement with helping kids during the 2017 John Calipari UK Pro Camp at the Joe Craft Center in Memorial Coliseum.
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Former Kentucky basketball players De’Aaron Fox, Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis talk about their involvement with helping kids during the 2017 John Calipari UK Pro Camp at the Joe Craft Center in Memorial Coliseum.

Former University of Kentucky guard Dominique Hawkins has been working hard this summer to keep his basketball career going.

After going undrafted in June, Hawkins played for the Sacramento Kings in the Las Vegas Summer League, but didn’t walk away from that experience with an NBA contract.

With the lack of offers on Hawkins’ table, the 6-foot guard has considered switching sports and playing football.

He said he worked out last week at defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles, and he has also received interest from the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys.

“I’m just giving a football a try, see what I do and I went to go do that workout last week and they told me I did pretty well for just coming back off basketball,” Hawkins said of the feedback he got from the Eagles’ coaches.

Hawkins is coming off a senior year where he set a career highs in minutes, points, assists, rebounds, steals, field goals, field-goal percentage, three-pointers, three-point field-goal percentage, free throws and free-throw percentage. Hawkins was also named to Southeastern Conference’s all-tournament team after a stellar performance in the championship game.

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UK Basketball assistant coach John Robin introduces former UK Basketball players (left to right) Derek Willis, De'Aaron Fox and Dominique Hawkins as they take part in the 2017 John Calipari UK Pro Camps at the Joe Craft Center in Lexington, Ky., on Tuesday, August 1, 2017. Michael Reaves Michael Reaves

Despite NFL teams knocking on Hawkins’ door, he is doing all he can to achieve his dream of playing professional basketball.

He’s still hoping to get an opportunity to take part in an NBA training camp, and he said he’ll consider playing overseas if that doesn’t happen.

“I told him I didn’t really want to go in football yet right now, I want to just focus on basketball,” Hawkins said of a conversation with his agent.

Hawkins played football in high school at Madison Central, where he played on the offense instead of defensive back. Hawkins’ high school coach knew he had potential in football and tried to steer him that way when making his college decisions.

“Everybody tells me I’m an NFL football player, and I remember my high school coach, he wanted to me to play in college and was always telling me I would be a top-three round draft pick,” Hawkins said. “I just had so much love and passion for basketball, it grew up as my first love and I just wanted to continue and enjoy it.”

Chris Leach: 859-231-1326, @chrisleach250

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Michael Reaves Michael Reaves

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