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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:21 AM

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Hawkins adjusts to WNBA, ‘storms’ back to Washington, D.C.


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Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr. Tianna Hawkins returns to Washington, D.C., as the Seattle Storm face the Washington Mystics on Saturday at the Verizon Center. Hawkins was selected by the Storm in the 2013 WNBA Draft.

Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr. Tianna Hawkins returns to Washington, D.C., as the Seattle Storm face the Washington Mystics on Saturday at the Verizon Center. Hawkins was selected by the Storm in the 2013 WNBA Draft.

Published on: Wednesday, July 10, 2013

By Daniel Kucin Jr.

Tianna Hawkins — University of Maryland alumna and former Riverdale Baptist Crusader — returned to the area Saturday as the Seattle Storm took on the Washington Mystics at the Verizon Center.

The Clinton native squared up against the Mystics, a team that many thought the hometown player would suit up for this season.

Along with Mystics forward Crystal Langhorne, a fellow Maryland alumna, Hawkins is only one of three current WNBA players to amass 1,000 rebounds.

Hawkins was the sixth-overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft. She has taken the first steps to follow in Langhorne’s footsteps as a Terrapin who as been a professional success.

“You have to be aggressive. ... I get it from coming from a great program,” Hawkins said. “You have to play at the best of your ability every night. I am happy to say that I have made it and all of my hard work has paid off.”

Hawkins is acclimating herself into the Storm’s lineup, averaging about 10 minutes on the court each game.

The forward scored three points on Saturday night, but she had a strong defensive outing in the 62-59 loss. The rookie grabbed five rebounds and earned an assist.

As an All-ACC selection, Hawkins averaged a career-high 18 points per game last season. She received the Wooden award and was recognized as the nation’s best women’s basketball player among 15 nominees.

Hawkins was born in Washington D.C., and is considered by many local basketball fans to be a Prince George’s County favorite. Some fans remember Hawkins for her tenacity on the court during her Riverdale Baptist days. She is known as a team player who is dedication to her craft. In 2009, she received the Gatorade State Player of the Year Award.

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