The road to Boston College was not a conventional one for Teddy Hawkins. After deciding this spring that he would transfer from Illinois State for his last year, Hawkins committed to BC and coach Jim Christian in June. It was a huge pickup for BC as it gave guards Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman a legitimate scoring threat to play with. On top of that it gave the team a senior leader that has been part of a winning program. For BC fans it seemed all too good to be true. Where was the Lucy pulling the football out from Charlie Brown moment? What were they missing?
Shortly after committing to BC, that moment seemingly came when Hawkins realized that he might have made a decision too soon. As his mother, Lizette Meyers, explains this was one of Hawkins’ biggest decisions of his life that he made a little quickly.
“I think he was overwhelmed by it all,” said Meyers. “He wanted to go to the best place which could help him to get to the next level. He needed to make the right decision on the next step. At the same time he had to see who was true with him as well. He didn’t want to repeat his bad experience at Illinois State. It hurt that he said yes and then no to BC, because he wasn’t brought up like that. He had to watch out for himself a little though.”
Getting to the next level is something that Hawkins has dreamed of worked for since he was little, which amplified this decision all the more for him as his mother explained. “He has loved basketball since he was a little boy. I worked two jobs when he was growing up---one was for the government and the other was for General Motors---so he pretty much grew up with my mom and dad. I’d come home from my two jobs and Teddy would be outside playing basketball. I remember at three years old he’d be playing at the neighbor’s house and he’d be playing with the six or seven year olds. The other kids didn’t know he was half their age,” said Meyers.
Teddy’s successful high school and AAU career eventually landed him at Wichita State. However, he later switched his commitment to Illinois State after the coach that recruited him to Wichita, Dana Ford, left for Illinois State. Hawkins’ career at Illinois State was mostly positive, but a coaching change late in his career left him sour with the school.
“I could tell he wasn’t happy anymore so I supported his choice to leave,” said Meyers.
Hawkins’ high school coach, Mike Sturgess was consulted on where would be a good landing spot for Teddy to play for his last year. Sturgess identified BC as a spot that could be a good fit.
“I looked at the situation and I had a previous relationship with coach Spinelli when he was at Cincinnati. I knew he’d get Teddy everything he needs up there to try and take the next step to professional basketball. I looked at the roster and saw those two guards and I could see them being the best threesome in the country next year,” said Sturgess.
Even though BC was identified as a potential school for Hawkins, Christian and Spinelli both had to earn his trust. Meyers explained that her son had been burned by coaches before so finding the staff that he felt comfortable with and could trust was huge.
“Teddy came back from LSU and said he didn’t feel he was a fit. He came back from Gonzaga and said he didn’t feel like he was a fit. He went to some other places and didn’t feel that he was a fit at those places. At the end he felt BC was where he felt the best connection,” said Meyers.
Surprisingly enough, one of the ways that BC earned Hawkins’ trust was by sticking with him when he decided that he had to take a longer look at which school he wanted to attend.
“Teddy loves the coached at BC. I told coach Spinelli after Teddy de-committed that I still thought he would pick BC in the end,” said Meyers.
Now BC has a valuable piece to go along with the dynamic backcourt of Robinson and Bowman. “Teddy is a hard-nosed defender, a great rebounder and shot blocker and someone well rounded on offense as well. He has a beautiful jumper that he can take anywhere from ten feet out to the three point line” said Sturgess.
Sturgess admits that difference in the athletic ability of Hawkins’ opponents will be an adjustment for him. However, he added “I think he will adjust and he will show he can be in the conversation with all of those guys.”
For Hawkins’ mom, she can rest easy that Teddy is at the right place for him. “He really does love coach Spinelli. I can tell that he is happy now,” said Meyers.