Hawkins Continues Collegiate Career
(St. Louis, MO) – What might have been. Entering last season, Illinois State was named the top contender to Wichita State to win the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title. After that epic run, they would still have two all conference players returning.
Instead, leading scorer Deontae Hawkins reclassified to become a senior before the season, because he would be graduating and wanted to pursue a pro career. But at least they would have MiKyle McIntosh coming back for his senior season, right?
After the season finished, McIntosh declared he would take a look at the NBA and if not drafted would seek a transfer as a graduate.
Now we find out (via Jon Rothstein) Hawkins will be playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference for Boston College.
For loyalty lovers, these two moves are very disappointing. Young players have the right to do whatever they desire, but honestly, will playing for a nine-win team in the ACC improve Hawkins’ pro opportunities anymore than being the Larry Bird Award winner in the Valley and going down as on of the best ISU players of this generation?
Had Hawkins and McIntosh stayed in Normal, they would have evened out the transition period for some of the newer Redbird players and would have put the Redbirds in the national conversation. Instead, they will go down as good players, with flashes of brilliance, but only as players that passed through the Valley pursuing their own personal goals.
Admittedly, we don’t know those two players’ personal situations, but barring some significant circumstance of which we are unaware, these moves depict something we grow tired of. Instead of greatness, individual ambition. We wish them well, but wonder what might have been.