Hersey Hawkins, arguably the best player in Bradley University basketball history, is headed to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
Hawkins was one of six players and two coaches among the 2021 class of inductees that was announced Sunday. The consensus National Player of the Year in 1988, Hawkins holds 14 program records at Bradley.
At the time of his graduation, Hawkins ranked fourth in NCAA history with 3,008 points; that figure remains tops in BU and Missouri Valley Conference history and 10th in the NCAA. He was drafted sixth overall in the 1988 NBA Draft, and played for Philadelphia, Charlotte, Seattle and Chicago in his 12-year pro career.
Others chosen for induction during next November’s ceremony in Kansas City (Mo.) are fellow players Len Bias (Maryland), David Greenwood (UCLA), Jim Jackson (Ohio State), Antawn Jamison (North Carolina) and Paul Pierce (Kansas), along with coaches Rick Byrd and Tom Penders.
Hawkins was named the MVC Player of the Year (’87, ’88), leading the nation with 1,125 points and a 36.3 scoring average in his senior season. Among his Braves records, his 63-point game in a 122-107 win at Detroit Mercy on Feb. 22, 1988, is the highest in Valley history and 10th in NCAA play.
Hawkins also has been inducted into the Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame (2003) and the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame (1997, inaugural class). His Braves uniform No. 33 is retired.
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