DEREK HAWTHORNE, JR. SIGNS WITH UT MARTIN MEN'S BASKETBALL PROGRAM
April 19, 2018
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MARTIN, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin head men’s basketball coach Anthony Stewart welcomes in Derek Hawthorne, Jr., who signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Skyhawks out of John A. Logan College.
A 6-3, 200-pound guard from Indianapolis, Ind., Hawthorne will suit up for UT Martin during the 2018-19 season with two years of eligibility remaining.
“Derek is a multi-skilled wing who brings valuable experience to our team,” Stewart said. “He’s a talented all-around player who can shoot well and he is also a great rebounder and a great defender. We are glad to welcome him to the Skyhawk family.”
Hawthorne helped lead John A. Logan to a 26-6 record, a Great Rivers Athletic Conference championship and NJCAA District Tournament appearance in 2017-18.
Playing under head coach Kyle Smithpeters, Hawthorne averaged 13.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists while playing in all 32 games for the Volunteers as a sophomore. He shot 54.4 percent (148-of-272) from the floor, 39.6 percent from three-point land (38-for-96) and 74.8 percent (86-of-115) from the free throw line while also ranking second on the team with 25 steals.
Hawthorne dialed up five 20-plus point outings last season, four of which came over his final nine games. His season-high of 22 points came at Southeastern Illinois College (9-of-13 shooting) on Feb. 10 and again versus Southeastern Illinois College (8-for-11 shooting) on Feb. 24. He drilled multiple three-pointers on 11 different occasions, including a season-high four trifectas (in just six attempts) at Western Kentucky Tech on Dec. 14.
Hawthorne accounted for three double-doubles in 2017-18, hauling in a career-best 11 rebounds at Western Kentucky Tech on Dec. 14 and against Kaskaskia College on March 2. He also handed out a season-high five assists against Western Kentucky Tech on Jan. 7 and swiped a career-best four steals against Kentucky Wesleyan on Nov. 4.
As a freshman, Hawthorne was an explosive scorer under head coach Carson Harris at Marian University, a NAIA program in Indianapolis, Ind. He scored double-digits in all 14 games he played, tossing in 17.9 points in only 27.1 minutes per game before suffering an injury that forced him to miss a majority of the season.
Hawthorne also contributed 6.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting 45.4 percent (89-of-196) from the field, 35.1 percent from beyond the three-point arc (20-for-57) and 76.8 percent (53-of-69) from the charity stripe during his lone season at Marian.
The high-scoring Hawthorne notched four 20-plus point performances in 2016-17, including a career-high 27 points against Olivet Nazarene on Nov. 5. He corralled a pair of double-doubles (16 points, 11 rebounds in his collegiate debut against Midway on Oct. 28 and 19 points, 10 rebounds against Defiance on Nov. 7). He dished out a season-high five assists against Mount Vernon Nazarene on Nov. 22 and collected a career-best five steals against Spring Arbor on Feb. 4.
Hawthorne prepped at the prestigious Pike High School program in Indianapolis. Playing for head coach Bill Zych, Hawthorne averaged 13.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game as a senior, earning him a spot in the 2015 Indiana Class Basketball All-Star Classic. He also helped Pike earn a sectional championship during his junior season in 2014-15.
A multi-sport athlete in high school, Hawthorne also excelled as a quarterback for the Pike football team. He is the son of Derek Hawthorne Sr. and April Hutchinson. Derek Sr. was a four-year letterman in football at the University of Louisville, as one of his seven career interceptions came in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl victory over Alabama.
Hawthorne joins NJCAA first-team All-American Quintin Dove (Cleveland, Ohio/Cuyahoga Community College) in the Skyhawks’ signing class for 2018-19.