Flint's JaVontae Hawkins signs pro basketball contract in Finland

If he wants to understand anything, JaVontae Hawkins may want to learn a thing or two about the Finnish language.
Flint native JaVontae Hawkins will begin his professional basketball career with the Salon Vilpas Vikings in Finland. (Eastern Kentucky Athletics)

It certainly won't hurt as he enters the next phase of his career.

The Flint native has signed a rookie deal with the Salon Vilpas Vikings in Korisliiga - which is Finland's top professional basketball league.

Hawkins, 23, plans to leave in August.

Read also other sport news of Helsinki.

"I'm excited, blessed, and appreciative for this opportunity to start a dream," Hawkins said. "I've worked hard for years for this day to come and I can say that I'm happy but I'm not satisfied."

Hawkins wrapped up his college career this past season as a graduate transfer for Fordham University, where he averaged a team-best 14 point and 4.9 rebounds in 31 games.

Prior to that, he starred at Eastern Kentucky for two seasons after his freshman year at South Florida.

He left Flint Powers Catholic High School as a junior to emerge as four-star recruit and Top 100 shooting guard at nationally ranked Huntington Prep in the Class of 2012.

Hawkins was recently spotlighted on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays this month for posterizing two defenders with a vicious jam with the Tampa Bulls (USF Alumni) squad during The Basketball Tournament (TBT).

"This is only the beginning to an amazing professional career," Hawkins said.

Read other news on the city site of Helsinki.

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