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Advice from Dom and Derek

Mulder, Hawkins and Willis

BY LARRY VAUGHT

What kind of advice would Dominique Hawkins give Kentucky’s incoming freshmen about UK fans?

“I would say off the court is the biggest adjustment to the fans. They are going to want pictures and signings, but you just need to learn to love the fans as much as you can,” he told vaughtsviews.com contributor Jami Young during an autograph stop in Pikeville.

Hawkins and Derek Willis are touring the state together and have drawn big crowds across the state. Willis had similar advice for future Wildcats.

“You have to welcome it. I feel like a lot of people who come in not knowing what the culture is here it might freak them out, or they may get tired of being bombarded all the time because it’s around you 24/7, but if you just embrace it then you will be fan favorites and everyone will love you,” Willis said.

“That’s what I did over the years. I always embraced it since high school. It’s been great and I’ve had a lot of good memories with meeting fans. Growing up in Kentucky I understood all of the rivalries. I knew what University of Kentucky basketball meant to all of the fans and how loyal the fans are. I took that into account. The fans and their support are the main reasons why I came to Kentucky. It means everything honestly.

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