Jordan Hawkins is a national college basketball champion. But he won’t be the only one with a new ring at his family’s next reunion.
Hawkins scored 16 points in the University of Connecticut’s 76-59 win over San Diego State University in the NCAA Men’s College Championship on Monday, and his cousin LSU star Angel Reese had his own win as the Tigers won their first NCAA title. Women’s basketball national championship title on Sunday.
The pair will both receive commemorative rings to celebrate their respective title wins.
Reese’s hometown is Baltimore, Maryland, while Hawkins was born 42 miles away in Gaithersburg. Dawkins says their title wins are the culmination of a long journey, and the pair will be celebrating in the coming weeks.
“It’s for all the kids from Gaithersburg, Maryland, who didn’t think they could do it. I did. Now you can do it, man,” Hawkins told game broadcaster CBS. “Me and Angel paved the way. We did it.”
Asked if he had anything to do with Reese over the weekend, Hawkins said: “I wish her luck. I’m going to see her in Maryland soon. Let the kitchen burn.
After UConn won its fifth men’s college basketball national title, Hawkins expanded on the duo’s journey at a media conference.
“It’s absolutely amazing, kids who were our age at the time, we were dreaming the same thing and we saw that it was possible,” the 20-year-old said.
“We’re both excited to get this opportunity, and the family reunion is going to be great, so I know.”
Hawkins and Reese aren’t the only family duo in the NCAA finals.
UConn head coach Dan Hurley had masterminded the team’s dominant run leading up to March Madness — winning every contest by at least 10 points — and on the team, with him every step of the way, was his son, Andrew.
Andrew, a junior guard, has featured sparingly during the team’s progress through the tournament, but his father says his son has a very important role outside of his contribution on the court, explaining to CNN Sports’ Kai Wire that he’s “like a therapist.” , always keeping me calm and focused.
Andrew himself says that he is happy to play a role that he can. “I try to contribute in any way I can, and if that’s one thing, then so be it,” he told CNN. “It means a lot to be around him every day.”
UConn enters rarefied air as the sixth team to win five NCAA men’s basketball championships, joining UCLA (11), Kentucky (eight), North Carolina (six), Duke (five) and Indiana (five). All of UConn’s titles have come since 1999, with Monday’s previous occurring in 2014.
The varsity women’s team has won 11 basketball national titles.
“You’re so proud that we can go back on the promise you made to the university, and we can go back on the promise you made to the players that we can do something so great together,” Hurley said.
“I’m crazy. I’m a fanatic, as is our fan base, and I think that’s why we’re such a good fit for each other.