Devils Pursuing Local Phenom Guard

Ever since Herb Sendek has arrived in Tempe, he has made a concerted effort to land the top prospects in his back yard. One of those players is Corey Hawkins, son of former NBA player Hersey Hawkins. ASU and Stanford have already taken notice of this gifted shooter, and chances are that the interest in him will swell following July's AAU tournament circuit.

Despite being just a sophomore, the 6-3 175 Corey Hawkins was pivotal in Goodyear's Estrella Mountains HS's 3A state championship. "He has a great basketball mind and his basketball IQ is through the roof," said Estrella Mountains' head coach Ty Amundson. "There's no doubt that he gets that from his father and Corey has definitely benefited from him."

The 2010 recruiting class prospect doesn't see his surname as being a burden, trying to fulfill unreasonable expectations. "I'm not worried about what others think of me because of my last name," he said. "I'm not trying to follow in my dad's footsteps – just make a name for myself."

In the 2007-08 season Hawkins averaged 22.2 PPG, 7.6 rpg, 4.8 spg and 4.0 apg, shooting 55% from the field and 37% from 3-pt range. He was voted to the Arizona Republic's First Team All-West Valley squad.

"He's very hard to guard," Amundson stated. "He has a great combination of having a great shooting range and driving by his defender and finishing. But he's a good defender who has long arms and does a good job getting in the opponents' passing lanes. He's a very good shot blocker for his size."

"Corey is a hard worker and a leader and that has helped his game on both ends of the floor. He does a good job getting his teammates involved too."

Arizona State offered Hawkins' shortly after his championship season ended, and both the junior to-be and his coach are truly impressed by the recruiting job Sendek and Assistant Coach Scott Pera are doing. "ASU is really making Corey feel very wanted," Amundson noted. "They were the first ones to offer and they have been staying in close contact with him ever since. He really loves the staff there and he has gone to a few of ASU's games."

"They've made me feel welcomed, like I'm already an important part of the team," said Hawkins. "I talk to them about everything, not just basketball, and I really like that."

Stanford has extended an offer to Hawkins as well. USC and UCLA have been showing strong interest in the last several weeks and a solid showing in July could land Hawkins an offer from both L.A schools.

"I love the Pac-10 and that's probably where I want to play my college career," said Hawkins. "I think it's the best conference in the country. I'd like to play close to my parents, but really just play on the West Coast."

Hawkins and his high school team have played in several games this month and last, and due to that scheduling they weren't able to participate in ASU's team camp this past weekend. The guard will take a break from playing this week as he visits one of his other serious suitors – the University of Texas.

Next week Hawkins will join his AAU club, EBO, to prepare for several tournaments in the month of July. On that team, Hawkins will play alongside Jarred Cunningham, a 2009 prospect who has verbaled to the Sun Devils. "He was my first friend on the (EBO) team," said Hawkins. "He welcomed me with open arms when I got there. He's trying to recruit me to ASU all the time…it would be real cool to play with him in college too."

Amundson said that a strong run in the AAU tournaments will really "get Corey's name out there" and have several other teams join the recruiting sweepstakes. "He really likes ASU and it's close to home, but he's keeping his options open too," he said.

Hawkins is also aware of the importance that the month of July holds in terms of his overall recruitment. "Your junior season is very important because that's when your recruiting really picks up," he explained. "Coaches can call you, and you have more schools showing interest. So, if I play well now I know that more teams will be contacting me."

Hawkins added that he's looking for a school with a strong business college that has a good basketball program and is in a good location.

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