May 4—Ryan Hawkins' final stop as a collegiate basketball player will bring him just one hour from home as the former Northwest Missouri State star will transfer to Creighton, he announced Monday.
Hawkins made the announcement on Twitter with an edited picture showcasing him in a Creighton jersey with the caption, "Excited for the opportunity!"
The Atlantic, Iowa, native, which is just one hour east of Creighton's campus, will have one year of eligibility with the Bluejays after one redshirt year and four seasons as a Bearcat.
After announcing his decision to enter the transfer portal, Hawkins told News-Press NOW that he didn't want to regret exploring a chance to challenge himself even more.
"I had a couple buddies back home that I talked to one of them had a pretty similar situation in college, and his biggest piece of advice was, whatever you decide to do, there's no wrong answer, but there's one answer that will challenge you in life. It'll get you out of your comfort zone," Hawkins said. "I'm kind of ready for that challenge I guess. I feel guilty about leaving Maryville, but I've had a great experience here, and it'll always be my home."
Hawkins holds the program record with 131 games played and he's among the all-time leaders in steals, rebounds, field goals, points, 3-pointers and double-doubles.
This past year, he averaged 25.9 points in eight games between the MIAA Tournament, Central Regional and Elite Eight with three 30-point games. He was named the Elite Eight's Most Outstanding Player behind a 31-point, 18-rebound game in the national championship victory over West Texas A&M.
A redshirt when Northwest won the 2017 title, Hawkins is now one of four active players in all of NCAA basketball with 2,000 points and 900 rebounds. He was one of the nation's best players on the 2019 and '21 championship squads.
As he leaves Northwest, he does so as a three-time national champion and a two-time MIAA Defensive Player of the Year.
The Bluejays reached the Sweet 16 this past season in the NCAA Division I tournament. Hawkins fills a need for Creighton after Christian Bishop transferred to Texas.
Brandon Zenner can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowZenner.