By Bob Flynn
Register News Writer
Madison Central’s Dominique Hawkins picked up the highest honor given to a Kentucky high school basketball player Friday when he was named the 2013 Kentucky Mr. Basketball.
Hawkins beat out four other candidates for the coveted title and the right to wear the No. 1 jersey in this summer’s Kentucky-Indiana All-Star games.
The title was the crowning jewel on an exceptional year for Hawkins. He led the Indians to a Sweet 16 championship earlier this month and was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Hawkins said being named Mr. Basketball was icing on the cake and a, “Great way to finish off an unbelievable year.”
He said he has often thought about winning the award and now to actually receive the honor was very humbling.
“When I would think about it I knew that not many people have won this ward and it’s just a blessing to be up here with the other four guys who are tremendous basketball players,” Hawkins said. “I have goose bumps just seeing all these other guys who have won the award. It’s just an honor to have my name on that list with all these great players.”
Central coach Allen Feldhaus has been telling everyone who would listen all year long that Hawkins was the best player in the state.
Over the course of the year, he scheduled teams all across the state to give Hawkins exposure. After the Indians’ championship game win, Feldhaus said everyone now knows what he has known for several years, that Hawkins is, “a very special player, but he’s an even better person.”
Following the announcement, Feldhaus became emotional when talking about his humble superstar.
“I thought from day one when I first saw him play as an eighth grader there was something special about him. And he never got fazed by good competition. As a matter of fact he always played his best against those good teams,” Feldhaus said. “I just can’t think of a more deserving Mr. Basketball than Dominique. He exemplifies everything that Mr. Basketball should stand for. He’s just a special person, that’s why I’m so excited for him. He’s made us all proud.”
Hawkins said having his family and coaches in attendance made the night perfect.
“It means everything having my coach and family and friends here to share this with me,” Hawkins said. “It makes me feel blessed knowing that I have people who love me and supports me anytime I need it.”
Central’s Larryn Brooks also was in attendance at the awards ceremony. She was one of the five finalists for Kentucky Miss Basketball. This year’s honor went to Marion County’s McKayla Epps.
The award is presented annually by the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation. This year’s ceremony was held at the Seelbach Hotel.