COURTESY of WEATHERFORD COLLEGE
Lou Hawkins chose to play basketball at Weatherford College for several reasons. The campus is close to home, which means she’s with her family. And there’s some pretty good hunting in North Texas.
While her first love is hoops, hunting is right behind, said the former Weatherford High School Lady Kangaroo.
“I killed my first animal when I was about 13,” she said proudly, noting that it was a deer and she used a .410 shotgun. “My dad’s always been a hunter, so have my cousins and uncles.”
Much like basketball, Hawkins said there is a thrill to hunting that one can only understand when experiencing the sensation.
“I like the adrenaline rush. It’s kind of like right before tipoff,” she said. “And I’m not really an adrenaline junkie.”
When she’s not playing basketball or in class, she’s either with family or—you guessed it—hunting. It’s not uncommon for her to get up early and visit her uncle’s place between Weatherford and Springtown to see what she can track down.
“Any chance I can get, I go,” she said. “I’m usually up about 5 or 5:30 [a.m.]. Sometimes during the week I go before class, and sometimes in the evening I’ll go. That’s when I go hog hunting.”
Hawkins is referring to feral hogs — big creatures that can be downright dangerous when riled.
“They started showing up at my uncle’s house. He told me to come on out and clear them out before deer season,” Hawkins said.
Her favorite part of hunting, though, is spending time with her dad.
“Even if we don’t talk, it’s just a great time,” she said.
Her favorite season is dove season.
“You have to always be on your toes - and you can talk,” she said with a chuckle. “You’re usually with a bunch of people. It’s a team effort. And it’s not cold.”
Like most hunters, Hawkins is a survivor. In fact, she overcame tearing both of her anterior cruciate ligaments in her knees during her high school career and missed two seasons. Despite the absences, she earned All-District honors in her senior year, as well as the All-Parker County Team, and helped the Lady Kangaroos reach the playoffs.
During that time, she also gave some thought to her future. She’s still trying to figure out her major, but ultimately she thinks it will probably have something to do with basketball.
“For those two years [injured, and on the bench], I was like an assistant coach,” she said. “Then I came back strong because of the people around me. I felt like I needed to prove myself and show that nothing was going to set me back.”
Hawkins said the knees are now 110 percent better than before, and she’s ready to help the Lady Coyotes return to the NJCAA National Tournament.
“We’re in the hunt for a national championship,” she said with a grin.