Thursday, June 8, 2006
Dawkins runs show for Arizona college
By BARRY BURLESON
Holly Springs’ own Kenny Dawkins went west after high school to play basketball and coach Kelly Green at Arizona Western College couldn’t be happier.
“He’s the heart and soul of our team,” Green said about his point guard. “He had an outstanding freshman year. He did everything we asked and more.”
Dawkins led the team in minutes played, averaging 35 per game. He averaged 10 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals per game. He shot 45 percent from the field and 77 percent from the free throw line.
Dawkins was named the Matadors’ best defensive player. He was selected honorable mention All-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference.
“He’s a leader,” Green said, “and he’s very coachable. Everything starts with him.”
Arizona Western College, located in Yuma, enjoyed loads of success on the basketball floor in 2005-06. The Matadors ended the year in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Elite Eight.
In the first round of the national tournament, they knocked off seventh-ranked Coffeeville, Kan. They then lost to Iowa Western before being eliminated by top-ranked Howard College.
Dawkins had a strong showing in the national tourney.
“He played well against one of the top point guards in the country (for Coffeeville),” Green said. “Kenny held his own against him.”
Arizona Western finished 28-7 overall. The Matadors were second in the conference and then won the regional championship by stunning ninth-ranked Cochise College in Douglas, Ariz., on the opposition’s home floor.
Coach Green has high expectations again next year, with Dawkins leading the way.
“He gave us so much this year,” Green said. “We’re fortunate he never got injured. He had a couple of games where he scored in the 20s.
“We hope his scoring goes up next year. We will be a more guard-oriented team next year. We had a couple of big post players this year.”
Green also said Dawkins will have the opportunity to play at the next level after leaving the two-year college.
“He’s already getting mail,” Green said. “He’s going to have the opportunity to play at a mid-level Division I school.”
Dawkins, a 2005 graduate of Holly Springs High School, led the Hawks to back-to-back Class 3A state championships.
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