By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
In recent weeks, Madison Central’s Dominique Hawkins has received more attention — from both the media and basketball fans from all across the state — then he ever could have imagined.
And at times, its all been just a little bit surprising for the humble, soft-spoken senior point guard.
“It’s an honor to meet new people,” Hawkins said. “It’s nice to have people tell you how great you are. When people tell me that, it just makes me feel blessed that God gave me a great talent. Even people from other counties ask me where I’m going to go (to college) and ask me how I’m doing. I feel special and I’m just thankful for everything I have.”
Hawkins is a special talent, no doubt.
The senior has more than 2,000 career points, making him the school’s all-time leading scorer and he was recently named one of the five finalists for this year’s Mr. Basketball award.
Last week, he led the Indians to the 11th Region title and was named the tournament’s MVP.
Hawkins has been drawing the attention of Division I college coaches for several years, but the level of interest in the senior has exploded recently.
After getting serious interest from mostly mid-major schools as a junior, the standout point guard has been contacted by several BCS-level schools in recent weeks, including Tennessee, Alabama and Purdue.
And last month, Hawkins got a call from Louisville coach Rick Pitino.
“It’s crazy. It’s a dream,” Hawkins said of speaking to Pitino. “I just never thought I would talk to someone that (high-profile).”
The media attention surrounding Hawkins went to new levels when University of Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua stopped by Madison Central’s practice on Feb. 24.
Kentucky has not offered Hawkins a scholarship , but the senior has now become a household name for many in the Big Blue Nation.
“I’ve gotten phone calls from different people taking about Kentucky and Louisville and stuff like that and all the other schools,” Hawkins said. “(The attention) has definitely picked up.”
The level of interest in Hawkins by both the coaches and fans could reach another level this week. If the senior shines at Rupp Arena and helps the Indians make a run a state title, he could receive offers from several big-time schools.
Hawkins is well-aware of that, but he is trying to take everything in stride.
“I’m a little nervous,” Hawkins said. “I’ve never played (at Rupp) before. Once I get going I’m pretty sure the nerves will go away.”
And once Hawkins does makes his decision, he won’t have to answer any more questions from reporters about his future.
That’s definitely something he is looking forward to.
“I know I’m going to have to answer that question,” Hawkins said. “I get tired of them, but I can’t get rid of them.”
Regardless of what happens, that decision won’t come for a while. For now, Hawkins says his focus is on trying to help Madison Central win a state championship.
“(I won’t) make a decision until the season is over,” Hawkins said.