Ludwigsburg / Bonn. It is safe to say that Javontae Hawkins has an ability. And it does not only refer to his demonstrably fine-tuned wrist, with which he is the third best pitcher in the Telekom Baskets Bonn team this season with 11.3 points per game. No, Javontae Hawkins proves he has a good instinct every summer when choosing his next employer. In the last three years he played first for the Crailsheim Merlins, then for the MHP giants Ludwigsburg and this season for the Baskets from the former federal capital. All three teams, along with Hawkins, evolved into the biggest positive surprises of the respective season. “I approach it strategically when choosing a team,” said the 1.96-meter-tall guard, who meets his ex-club from Ludwigsburg with the baskets on Saturday (20:30 / Magentasport) in the Basketball Bundesliga. “I appreciate the coach’s character, the players and the style of play.”
Same style of play for both teams
In fact, the playing styles of the basket and the giants are similar in many respects. This is another reason why Hawkins calls the upcoming duel with his old colleagues a “battle for the Titans”. Because they play both so physically and have coaches with a high IQ, ”he praises head coach John Patrick and his colleague Tuomas Iisalo. Finn Iisalo, under whom Hawkins had already thrived in Crailsheim, has transformed the Baskets from a troubled traditional club to the surprise team in the league within a season. Bonners currently leads the BBL table with 20 wins from 27 matches. The Giants are third (26 games, 19 wins).
Last season it was Ludwigsburg who greeted from the top almost the entire season and became champions in the main round. Hawkins had to watch from the sidelines all the way through. A cruciate ligament rupture during the preparation put him out of action for several months after a previous excellent season at Crailsheim (16.4 points / game). “It was bittersweet,” Hawkins says today a year in the Baroque city. “It was hard just to watch. On the other hand, I cheered on the team in every home game while they supported me through my rehabilitation.” “He’s a great guy and has really done the team good,” head coach Patrick said in a club statement prior to the reunion with Hawkins. The American Hawkins is still in close contact with especially his compatriots Tremmell Darden and Yorman Polas Bartolo. “They helped me stay positive,” the 28-year-old says of his long downtime.
Huge giant hospital
However, it is still uncertain whether he will meet the two experienced giant players on Saturday. Most recently, both were part of the extraordinarily large Ludwigsburg hospital. Captain Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann, Tekele Cotton, Jonathan Bähre and James Woodard were also missing in the narrow 77:75 victory against Mitteldeutsche BC on Sunday. Only with the errors could a solid BBL starting fiver be created. “We do not know which of the absent players could possibly be available again,” coach Patrick said: “But it is also a fact that not all of the players used on Wednesday were completely fit.”
So it is very possible that the giants will again move with a skeleton troop into the battle for the Titans proclaimed by Hawkins. Especially since the Ludwigsburgers have their first Champions League quarter-final match at U-BT Cluj-Napoca in Romania on Tuesday.
Return to Ludwigsburg?
So it can be an unpleasant evening in Bonn for the remaining giants. “Our persistence is incomparable,” Hawkins announces, referring to the great goals he pursues with the Rhinelanders: “We want the championship.” A goal he shared with the Giants last season, even though it was only as a spectator Missed semi-final against FC Bayern Munich.
His time with the Swabians felt a bit like an unfinished year. That’s one of the reasons he could imagine returning at some point. “Naturally. If the opportunity presents itself and it’s best for me, it would definitely be an opportunity,” Hawkins says. When the time comes again, the man from Michigan can rely on his good instincts when choosing a team.