Huskies in the Pros: Hawkins off to strong start, Thompson heats up, Hornets decline Bouknight’s team option  


NBA: Jordan Hawkins earns first career start  

On Monday, former UConn basketball star Jordan Hawkins became the first recruit from the Dan Hurley era to start in the NBA. The 14th overall selection of the New Orleans Pelicans logged 14 points, five rebounds and two steals in the team’s 130-102 loss to Golden State on Monday. Through three games this season, Hawkins has seen his minutes increase dramatically, playing just nine minutes in his debut and then 35 in the Pelicans’ most recent game. So far, the Gaithersburg, MD native is averaging 8.7 points on 45% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc. With the dramatic uptick in minutes, it is evident that head coach Willie Green has big plans for the rookie sharpshooter going forward. Hawkins, who was an integral part of UConn’s 2023 national championship run, looks to establish himself and represent UConn in the NBA. 

NHL: Tage Thompson tallies five points over last three games for Buffalo 

Limited to just one point across over the first six games of the season, Buffalo Sabres star Tage Thompson has caught fire with some big time performances as of late. Over his last three games, Thompson has found the back of the net three times with two assists. The 6-foot-7 right winger from Phoenixscored twice in Buffalo’s 6-4 win against Ottawa on Oct. 24 and assisted on a goal in the team’s most recent win over Colorado on Oct. 29. Thompson is coming off a career year in which he finished in the top 15 in the league’s MVP voting, just shy of 50 goals. The former UConn star looks to make performances like these a trend after having a breakout, 94-point season last year. 

NBA: James Bouknight’s fourth-year option declined as he recovers from meniscus injury 

After undergoing surgery to repair a meniscus injury in early October, former UConn lottery pick James Bouknight had his fourth-year player option declined by the Charlotte Hornets this week. It’s been tough sledding for Bouknight as the former Husky star has appeared in just 65 games with career averages of 5.1 points and 1.9 rebounds while spending most of his career in the G-League. Bouknight, a native of Crown Heights, NY, was selected 11th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2021 NBA Draft after averaging 18.7 points on 45% from the field in his final year in Storrs. Now looking for a new contract and likely a new team in 2024, Bouknight hopes to return from injury and finally make a positive name for himself in the league. 

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