Gabriel Hawkins, a basketball player and transfer student from St Mary’s, has joined Las Positas amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The virus and the pandemic have impacted millions upon millions of Americans in various ways. Hawkins tells us about his personal love for basketball and his side of the story about quarantine.
“I was just attracted [to] the game of basketball. I played on the playground every day before elementary school and fell in love. The first year I played organized basketball I was in third grade and I haven’t stopped since. I love everything about basketball. I love the competitiveness of it, I love being able to prove [you’re] better [than] someone. I love showing your will to see who wants it more. I just love everything about the game.”
Every athlete has a role model or multiple idols that they look up to. Whether it’s a favorite player they look up to, or someone they model their gameplay after. Hawkins shares his role models.
“My favorite athlete right now is LeBron [James] because he’s my favorite player in my favorite sport. However, my favorite athlete of all time is Muhammad Ali, not only because of how great he was at boxing but how outspoken he was about issues in America.”
Hawkins, an avid watcher of basketball, models his game after those he sees on TV.
“I would say that I model my game after Anthony Davis because he can do everything on the floor and that’s what I want to be able to do. He can shoot, get to the basket, and defend, all at a high level.”
Like many others during these difficult times, Hawkins had to adapt to the new temporary norms that the world had to adapt in order to control the spread. He and his family have taken appropriate and necessary measures to remain safe while the pandemic is ongoing.
“It’s been tough going through the pandemic. You can’t eat in a restaurant, you can’t go to the gym, you can’t have parties, but I’ve been blessed to say that I haven’t lost anyone close to me…”
“At family events, everyone is spaced out and [we have] masks on. We don’t have more than ten people and we rarely have family events at all.”
With the virus impacting people and their daily life, extracurricular events had to be put on hold in precaution for everyone’s safety, including college sports. Hawkins explained what his personal views of the pandemic are like and how the team has been training now that they can return.
“Coach G has done a great job making sure we are all safe while we work out. All of our practices have been outside either on the track or turf field. We stay at least six feet apart at all times [and] wear masks. If we have to run, we have to take our masks off, we stay 12 feet apart [to] make sure that we are staying safe.”
Alameda County is among the California counties to be in the purple tier. The majority of the state is still in the purple tier.
“We stopped working out when the county turned purple, but we just started up again following the same guidelines as before. We also now get tested two times a week for COVID-19 to make sure we are safe.”
Another thing to think about now that college sports are coming back is the expectation ahead of the seasons. The hopefulness, optimism, confidence and expectations ahead of the big games. Hawkins says “my expectations for our team is to be one of the best teams in the state.”
Gibran Beydoun is a staff writer for The Express. Follow him @Gibran580MSCM.