Jordan Hawkins couldn’t be at Gampel Pavilion on Monday night to watch UConn’s 2023 national championship banner raised to the rafters or to pick up his championship rings.
He was busy hanging 31 points on the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets on the road. (Life gets in the way sometimes). He was also busy chasing his NBA dream during UConn First Night on Oct. 13, when the returning Huskies received their championship rings.
Luckily, the New Orleans Pelicans rookie has a boss who cares about her employees, and just so happens to have a connection to UConn herself.
Swin Cash, the Pelicans’ Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development, helped Jordan out by handing him his two national championship rings (one from the NCAA and the other from UConn) at practice on Sunday.
Maybe that reminder of what he accomplished with the Huskies boosted Hawkins’ confidence and spurred him on to the 31-point performance, in which he hit seven 3s and joined Victor Wembanyama as the only rookies to score 30 in a game so far this season.
The Pelicans posted a video of Hawkins receiving his rings on their X account, which begins with the whole team watching highlights from the Huskies’ NCAA championship run. Cash emerges in a UConn t-shirt and motions for Hawkins to come over, and Hawk gleefully receives his championship rings and shows them off to the rest of the team.
Hartford Courant App users: Watch the video here.
“On behalf of everyone at UConn, the men’s basketball team, all the alumni, we want to congratulate you on raising another banner in Gampel Pavilion,” Cash said as she gave Hawkins his rings.
Hawkins smiled and thanked Cash, then turned to his teammates and said, “I need another.”.
Hawkins and the Pelicans take the court again on Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.