Jummel Hidrosollo / Special to the Home News
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 | midnight
The leading scorer in high school boys basketball this season might come as a surprise to most.
Trinity guard and Henderson resident Budweiser Hawkins III averaged 26.2 points per game to lead the valley and he's only a junior. Most fans probably aren't familiar with him because he played in the 1A classification, for schools with less than 169 students.
First-year coach Keith Harris said Hawkins is a rare athlete to coach.
"He's a fantastic athlete and it's been a blessing to coach him this year," Harris said. "He's great to watch because he wants to make everyone better because he wants to win."
The basketball court is not the only place Hawkins excels.
He has won two state high jump titles, clearing 6 feet, 4 inches, as a freshman and 6-7 his sophomore year to set a 1A state meet record.
"I never ran track before till my freshman year and the high jump was something new to me," Hawkins said. "My coach put it in my head and I got over the bar."
He hopes to parlay this success into a college career.
"Obviously, I want to go to college and go for both sports," he said. "I found an interest in high jump, but basketball is my first love."
Budweiser Hawkins II was a basketball and baseball high school All-American at Bishop Gorman, graduating in 1970. He earned a basketball scholarship to Pepperdine and had the chance to play minor league baseball. He elected to stick with basketball and played a year in a Mexican professional league.
As far as the family's not-so-traditional first name, Hawkins II said his grandfather worked in an Anheuser-Busch plant in St. Louis and named his son after the beer. However, the youngest Budweiser Hawkins goes by the nickname "Trey."
Budweiser Hawkins III got his start on the basketball court at 6 years old when he would shoot 15 footers and not even reach the rim.
"I told him all you have to do is bend your knees," the elder Hawkins said. "'When I come back three days from now, I want you to be able to put that in the basket,' and he was."
Growing up, Hawkins III said he did not know much about his father's athletic past until he started playing middle school basketball for Trinity.
"He brought out all his trophies and medals. It gave me something to compete with," Budweiser Hawkins III said. "I want to be better than my dad. I want to be the best. I see his trophies and his medals I want more than that."
The two have worked together on the court and the elder Hawkins said, skill-wise, his son is two years ahead of where he was at the same age.
"He really loves basketball and so I went through process of giving him the fundamentals, and I put it in him," Budweiser Hawkins II said. "I said everything that's in me is in you. So you are going to be me plus you. You'll be twice as good as I was."
The father quickly admitted the two won't play any 1-on-1.
"I would want to win, but where he is, he would be much better," he said.
Hawkins III isn't the first talented hoopster at Trinity. Former guard Jon Atkins, who lead the team to the 2007 state title, is a freshman at the Air Force Academy.
"He's my inspiration. I text him all the time when I need advice. The thing about Jon is he didn't let anything get in his head," Hawkins III said.
Brent Hinckley can be reached at 990-7822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.