Time with Hawks com­ing to end for fu­ture Hogs

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - RECRUITING / COLLEGE FOOTBALL - RICHARD DAVEN­PORT

LAS VE­GAS — Two Arkansas Ra­zor­backs com­mit­ments have played their last game for the 17-un­der Arkansas Hawks.

It came Sat­ur­day in an 82-79 loss to The Firm in dou­ble over­time in the Sweet 16 of the Adi­das Sum­mer Cham­pi­onships.

Guard Isa­iah Joe, 6-4, 170 pounds, of Fort Smith Northside and for­ward Ethan Hen­der­son, 6-9, 190, of Lit­tle Rock Parkview will now play their se­nior years be­fore head­ing to Fayet­teville to play for the Ra­zor­backs.

An­other Ra­zor­backs com­mit­ment, Jus­tice Hill, 5-10, 160, of Lit­tle Rock Chris­tian, will spend his fi­nal spring and sum­mer with the Hawks next year. He’s plan­ning to en­roll at Arkansas in Jan­uary 2019.

Bill In­gram, Hawks founder and chair­man, said he was sad to see Hen­der­son and Joe leave the Hawks.

“We’ve had Ethan and Isa­iah in our pro­gram since they were like 7 or 8 years old,” In­gram said. “We’ve had Jus­tice the last cou­ple of years, but I’ve been know­ing him since he was a lit­tle boy.”

Hill said Joe and Hen­der­son gave their all to the Hawks.

“I know for them, it’s their last AAU tour­na­ment,” Hill said. “That’s crazy for me to think about be­cause I have an­other year.”

Hill scored 25 points with 2 re­bounds, 1 steal and 3 as­sists in the Hawks’ 93-74 vic­tory over Team Loaded NC on Sat­ur­day to ad­vance to the Sweet 16.

Team Loaded NC fea­tured two play­ers who are be­ing tar­geted by the Hogs — Top 100 ESPN for­ward Landers Nol­ley of Fair­burn (Ga.) Langston Hughes and Nate Hin­ton, who is from Gas­to­nia (N.C.) Gas­ton Day School.

Hill said on Wed­nes­day that nei­ther Hen­der­son nor Joe had dis­cussed the tour­na­ment be­ing their last one.

“Not re­ally, I don’t think they want to yet,” Hill said with a chuckle.

Hen­der­son said he has made mem­o­ries to last a life­time.

“I’m go­ing to miss th­ese guys so much,” Hen­der­son said. “Ev­ery­thing, even the fights. The road trips, the ride there and then on the way back. The ho­tel room, at the game and at the end of the game.”

Joe, who was shoot­ing 55.2 per­cent from be­yond the three-point line in the first five games of this week’s event, said there was some dis­cus­sion of this be­ing the last week with the Hawks for him and Hen­der­son and other team­mates.

“We have talked about how this is the last time, so we’ve told each other we have to put it all on the line be­cause of that,” Joe said.

Hill said the end is bit­ter sweet.

“This is only my sec­ond year play­ing with them, but I love my guys,” Hill said. “I know they’re go­ing. I’m just ready to watch them next year while I come here.”

In­gram has been coach­ing youth bas­ket­ball since 1998, has seen lots of play­ers come and go, but said it’s never easy.

“Just the thought of them leav­ing, it’s like your child go­ing off to school,” In­gram said.

Ra­zor­backs se­nior guard Daryl Ma­con and se­nior for­ward Trey Thomp­son played for the Hawks be­fore head­ing to Fayet­teville. In­gram is known to be a no-non­sense, de­mand­ing coach who is very much old school.

“When Ma­con and Trey and them left…those are two guys we had since 8 or 9 years old,” In­gram said. “When they left I got sad. As mean as I am, I al­most got a tear in my eye be­cause I started re­al­iz­ing that we played a small part in their role of be­com­ing Ra­zor­backs.”

In­gram said he knows when the emo­tions of see­ing Joe, Hen­der­son and other Hawks play­ing for the last time will hit him.

“Prob­a­bly when we’re get­ting ready to go to the air­port and when we’re sit­ting at the air­port wait­ing and we’re wait­ing and talk­ing,” In­gram said. “That’s nor­mally when it hits you.”

E-mail Richard Daven­port at rdav­en­port@arkansason­line.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.