Hawes adding to his resume

As Spencer Hawes thinks about the collegiate 'what could've been' from behind the Washington bench this season, he also understands about 'what's going to be'. The anticipation of knowing that he'll be playing for the Huskies this coming fall is completely overshadowed at this point in Hawes' life by a different reality - one that includes taking care of a little unfinished business for a team called the Panthers.

"It's hard to sit back and watch, but my time will come," the 7-foot, 230-pound Hawes told Dawgman.com Wednesday night when asked about viewing games in Hec Ed. Official word came out Wednesday that he had been named to play in the McDonald's All-American game, to be played March 29th in San Diego . "It's quickly approaching. It's just fun now that you're somewhat a part of it, knowing the guys and knowing what they are going through."

For those interested in checking out the rosters for that game, you can click here.

And it's not just the McDonald's game. Hawes has also been invited to play in the Jordan All-American Classic, to be played at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday, April 22nd, and the Nike Hoop Summit. The Summit is the country's premiere annual basketball game featuring America's top senior boy high school players taking on a World Select Team comprised of the world's top players who are 19-years-old or younger. The 2006 Nike Hoop Summit will be played on Saturday, April 8, 1 p.m. at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn.

"I might go to France again with the Nike team for the world under-19 team championships too, but I'm not sure yet," added Hawes.

As far as where these games are at in Hawes' head? They are in another continent, as Spencer is in the process of getting his high school team - the Seattle Prep Panthers - ready for the playoffs. "It's going real well right now," Hawes said when asked about his current season. "We're going to state for the first time in a while. We've got Rainier Beach coming up on Saturday and we're trying to get the district championship going into state."

Prep routed Mt. Si 68-41 in a Sea-King 3A District winner-to-state semifinal at Bellevue Community College on Tuesday, ensuring the Panthers first trip to state since 2001.

The thoughts of 'what could have been' in 2005 still sting a little bit. That Prep team was loaded - not just with Hawes, but with future 2005 NBA lottery pick Martell Webster. And they couldn't make it to the dance. Hawes admitted that the stakes had been raised for him this year. "I was feeling some pressure, but now the only pressure is winning it (state)," he said. "It's nice this year because in the system we're playing so much better as a team and there's a lot less pressure on individuals."

And while he is the top Panther, so to speak - averaging 20.3 points per game, Hawes is getting help from teammates like Gerald Grissette, Jordan Bremond and Jordan Brandon. "I think I'm more patient now," Hawes said, when asked about his improvement from his junior to senior campaigns. "I don't feel as if I have to go into every game now having to score 30 points and grabbing 20 rebounds and blocking 10 shots. I'm concentrating more on getting wins and whatever that takes. I don't think I have to prove myself like I may have had to in the past."

Whatever he is doing, it has been good enough to produce a slew of victories for Prep. The Panthers finished atop the Metro League Mountain Division standings at 15-1, their lone blemish coming at the hands of the team they will clash with this weekend - the same team they also beat by 17 earlier in the year. In that game, Hawes will most likely be doing his damage against one of the more talented big men in the area, 6-foot-6, 300-pound Emeka Iweka. Iweka, who verbally committed two years ago to play basketball for Oregon State, is now fast becoming one of the more coveted defensive linemen on the west coast for the football recruiting class of 2007.

Having battled inside with the likes of future UW teammate Jon Brockman during his days with Seattle Friends of Hoop, Hawes is ready to tangle with Iweka, hoping the third time is indeed the charm for the Panthers against those pesky Vikings. "You play against so many different types of guys that you learn how to take advantage of your strengths," Hawes said. "You just have to adjust, that's what the good players do."

And that's just what Washington fans hope Hawes will be the moment he officially steps on the court at Hec Ed this coming fall - a good player. To that end, Hawes is going to fill up and feast on as many post-season tournaments and classics as he can within NCAA rules. The McDonald's invite has certainly captured his attention, even if it's still over a month away - for a couple of reasons. Former FOH teammates Brockman and Webster played in it last year.

"Growing up, you watch it every year and it's a dream," he said. "That's the highest level you can get to in high school basketball. And being in San Diego, it's nice that it's finally out on the west coast."

Hawes, who is ranked by Scout.com as the No. 2 center in the country, has never been able to challenge No. 1 - Greg Oden. That will all change in San Diego. Just listening to Hawes talk about it, the thought of matching up with Oden is the ultimate challenge.

"To be the best, you have to play against the best," said Hawes. "That kind of competition brings out the best in everyone. I've been looking forward to that for a while. It's always nice to test yourself and see how you stack up against the best players in the country."

But when asked about the biggest honor, Hawes will take the red, white and blue every time. "I think the junior national team, any time you get to represent your country, it's that much more of an honor," he said, referring to the Memphis Hoop Summit.

If he could make a trade? Hawes would swap it all for a state championship cup displayed prominently in the Panthers' trophy case at school.

Because it's all about getting the wins now.

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