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Monday, September 23, 2019

Sports

UH women’s basketball player reaches historic milestone


Serithia Hawkins has been a steady force for the Cougars throughout her career. She is now one of the few players to have at least 1,000 points and 900 rebounds at UH. | Andres Chio / The Cougar

For almost four years, forward Serithia “Momo” Hawkins played at her highest possible level. Now, in her senior season, she has accomplished a feat that few UH players have done before her.

Hawkins is the third woman and ninth player in UH basketball history to pick up at least 1,000 points and 900 rebounds in their career.

Throughout her career, Hawkins has been a double-double threat, as she has 17 in her career and led the team in rebounding in 52 games. Her production on the boards has been consistently strong, and she has led the Cougars in total rebounds every season she’s played.

She transitioned to the college game immediately. From the beginning, she was one of the Cougars’ most valuable players. In her freshman season, she led the team in points per game, total steals and games started.

For the coaching staff, Hawkins’s production is not a surprise. Hawkins played her high school career as a guard and developed scoring skills that translated to the college game. Coach Ronald Hughey had a vision for Hawkins, and the vision could not be realized unless she made a move to the forward position. He was one of the biggest factors that pushed Hawkins to sign to UH.

“First, the reason why I came here is Coach Hughey,” Hawkins said. “His motivation and speaking to me during that process. He’s one of the reasons I came here.”

Once she made the move, the other pieces fell in place, and she took advantage of her situation. After becoming a forward, she was able to move freely without the ball, getting under the rim for layups and rebounds. She outplayed defenses with her solid jumper and high motor. As a result, she will forever be remembered with some of the greatest basketball players to ever play for UH.

“I wanted to leave my legacy here, too,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins’s historical achievement happened at an opportune time for the Cougars. In the midst of a basketball renaissance for the men’s team, she helped raise the women’s team to relevance in the American Athletic Conference.

In the 2017-18 season, she played a huge role in the team’s 20 wins and postseason berth in the National Invitational Tournament.  Her contributions to Houston basketball, along with other players on her team, have set the foundations for a new golden era for the University.

As the team prepares to compete in the AAC Tournament, Hawkins understands that her own personal accolades take a back seat to the team’s ultimate goal of winning the championship. It is that mindset, however, that has helped her become such a crucial part of her team and school’s history.

Her name is in good company with UH legends like Hakeem Olajuwon and Elvin Hayes. But when her career is done at UH, she will have her own legend and history to boast.

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