MT. VERNON —
The Rams top scorer from this season is headed to Rend Lake College.
Shakari Hawkins signed with the college on Tuesday afternoon.
“I know it was something he was wanting and is excited about,” Mt. Vernon coach Scott Gamber said. “It's really good for Shakari and for Rend Lake.”
Gamber said the jump to college could benefit Hawkins more because he will move to his natural position of guard more. At Mt. Vernon, Hawkins played in the post because of the Rams lack of size.
“He'll get to face the basket a little more,” Gamber said. “I think it's a good fit.”
Hawkins emerged his junior season before becoming a top offensive options for the Rams this season. Hawkins averaged about 17 points a game to lead the Rams. He had several 20-plus scoring games, including a season high 29 against St. Louis Soldan in the opening week of the year at the Herrin Pyramid Plus Tournament.
Rend Lake College has experienced increased success on the court the past few seasons under head coach Randy House. The Warriors won a national title two years ago, and entered this season's regional round as the top seed. RLC lost in the opening round, but ended the year with a 20-11 record overall.
“They won the national title,” Hawkins said. “They can help kids transfer to bigger schools, so that's one of the reasons why I went there.”
Mt. Vernon finished the year 15-13 overall. The Rams season ended with an opening round regional loss to Marion.