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Link: Hawkins living a dream come true

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Once again, is rolling out a series of summer features profiling UK's incoming class. This year, there are eight new Wildcats, so Eric Lindsey is going to be writing for a while.

Leading off the series is guard Dominique Hawkins, the Kentucky native who parlayed a superb run in the state tournament into a scholarship offer from John Calipari and now a spot on the team. Now, he's playing pick-up at the Joe Craft Center and living the life so many young Kentuckians dream of.

Before that magical Sweet Sixteen run, UK was nothing but a pipe dream for the Kentucky-born guard. He had been in contact with nine different schools and had scholarships offers from a few of them, but the only time Kentucky had contacted him and watched him was at practice the week before the state tournament.

Hawkins' cousin Marquis Estill, who was on staff at the time as an undergraduate assistant coach, was in ears of every UK coach telling them they needed to give Hawkins a look. In the midst of a season in which the Wildcats lacked toughness and that special will to win, Hawkins seemed to have the missing ingredients, Estill told the staff.

Still, Hawkins had no clue that his on-court perseverance would give him a shot. His mother did, but she wasn't going to take a chance and tell her son.

"She never told me because she doesn't want me getting nervous," Hawkins said.

Hawkins didn't get nervous when Coach Cal and his staff came to Rupp Arena to watch him play in the Sweet Sixteen, leading Madison Central to a state championship and earning that offer. Check out's story to read more about Hawkins journey to UK and his first month on campus.

Link: Hawkins living a dream come true (with video)

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