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Volume 68, Issue 11, Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Sports
 

Hawkins doesnit regret picking Houston

By Jada Clayton
The Daily Cougar

When you think of athletes, you donit really see them as ordinary people. Such athletes like Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Troy Aikman and even David Carr, are put on such high pedalstals that people donit think of them having ordinary lives.

Fans just see them doing what they are getting paid to do and trying to reach that ultimate goal, whether it is the Super Bowl, the NBA Championship or being the greatest boxer ever.

But they do. Take sophomore Nikki Hawkins for example. She is the center midfielder for the UH soccer team. The Plano native arrived to the University two years ago.

She attended Plano Senior High School where she started playing soccer.

"I came for a visit, and it felt like the right place for me," Hawkins said, explaining her reason to pick UH over other schools. "I love my coach, and it just seemed right."

Hawkins has certainly proved her worth to the team. She was named to the All-Conference USA team after the 2001 season. She also scored the first goal of the 2002 season during UHis 2-1 win over Rice on Sept. 1.



Sophomore midfielder Nikki Hawkins poses with a soccer ball in the Athletic/Alumni Center. Hawkins scored the first goal of the 2002 season against Rice on Aug. 31.

Nathan Lindstrom/The Daily Cougar

Nikki Hawkins loves soccer and loves playing her position as well. She said she is comfortable playing at the college level, but her first game was a different story.

"Iim really little so there were very, very big girls," Hawkins said. "It was a very physical game for me, and I was really scared. I didnit play the way I wanted to. I was so scared just getting into the game, getting used to players. It was definitely an experience."

Standing at just 5i4", Hawkins plans to go pro after she graduates. She is majoring in sports medicine, so she could stay around sports and help injured athletes.

Outside of playing soccer, she likes to relax. She is outgoing, likes to talk and have fun, but she is also competitive. You can catch her hanging out with her friends or staying at home doing something she likes, such as watching movies.

"I love Bad Boys!" she said about her favorite movie.

She has an older brother and looks up to her parents. But the person she really looks up to is her cousin.

"My parents are big role models for me," Hawkins said. "My cousin, she went to West Virginia, and she is a gymnast. She is unbelievably positive. She is a great person. She basically got me ready for what I had to deal with here as far as mentally."

Hawkins has a full plate, but she finds time to enjoy life.

But it will be all business when she and the Cougars begun a two-game homestand against North Texas on Friday and Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday.

 Send comments to dcsports@mail.uh.edu

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