Coleman Hawkins is taking his talents to the next level.
The veteran big man announced on Tuesday afternoon on Twitter that after three years at Illinois, he has declared for the NBA Draft.
As shown in the post, Hawkins still has college eligibility despite declaring for the draft. According to Jon Rothstein, Hawkins stated that he will consider coming back to school if he believes the Illini have a really good veteran team with the chance to win a national title.
While his final decision of whether to stay in the draft or come to back to school won’t be determined for awhile, let’s take a look back at Hawkins’ three years at Illinois.
Not much of a factor in his freshman season, Hawkins had a much bigger role as a sophomore. Averaging almost 20 minutes a game, he recorded six double-digit scoring performances.
Hawkins was crucial in many wins last season, but every starter departing left him with big shoes to fill.
He became one of the leaders on this year’s Illinois squad, averaging 9.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
One of his best games of the year was back in November, when he recorded the fifth triple-double in program history.
Illinois' Coleman Hawkins is maybe my favorite prospect this season. Have mentioned that a few times, but he showcased WHY against Syracuse tonight. Had a 15/10/10 triple-double, and just completely obliterated their zone from the foul line area as a passer and touch finisher. pic.twitter.com/YixV365VqH— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) November 30, 2022
Hawkins’ creativity and inside presence were also complemented by his athletic ability. Multiple posterizing dunks made the Illini big man a human-highlight reel.
Coleman Hawkins was called for a technical foul following his reaction to this dunk. pic.twitter.com/8xSk90tFa1— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 18, 2023
COLEMAN HAWKINS, GOODNESS! pic.twitter.com/RhtbwFyNCn— CBS Sports College Basketball (@CBSSportsCBB) February 26, 2023
Hawkins was one of the longest tenured Illinois players on the team, and his progression made many speculate about the possibility of him declaring for the draft. Now that this possibility has become a reality, all Illini fans can do is wait.