At 5-4, Ty’Zhea Hawkins doesn’t exactly stand out in the halls of Brentwood High School. That’s not the case on the basketball court, though.
The speedy senior scored 46 points on Monday in a home win against Ward Melville and 33 in a road victory Tuesday against Patchogue-Medford. Hawkins, who is second in Suffolk and third on Long Island with an average of 27.6 points per game, is Newsday’s Athlete of the Week.
“If you saw her walk the halls — you wouldn’t see any fanfare — she has no ego,” Brentwood girls basketball coach Chris Harrison said. “During the school day, she’s just another kid.”
After classes, that all changes.
“I play hard and that’s the only way I know how to play,” Hawkins said. “I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I give it everything I have.”
Something has clicked this season for Hawkins a Newsday Top 25 girls basketball player for 2017-18, after she averaged a respectable 17.1 points as a junior.
“I think her shot, and her shot selection, has improved so much,” said Harrison, in his sixth season as girls head coach after 10 seasons as an assistant for the Indians’ boys team. “She’s a throwback. She can nail a three-pointer. She can go to the basket, and she can pull up on a dime.”
That mid-range jumper is the key for Hawkins, according to Harrison.
“She always had that [midrange] shot,” he said, “but she didn’t use it enough.”
After a 2-2 start to the season, in which Hawkins averaged 19.25 points, she is scoring at 32.4 points a clip in her last seven outings. Brentwood (6-5) is 2-3 in Suffolk II and has won four of its last five games overall. Hawkins can play either point or shooting guard said Harrison, who estimates that she is at the point about 60 percent of the time.
“What I’m doing is really awesome, and I’m proud that everything I worked on is finally showing,” Hawkins said. “But the only thing that truly matters to me is making playoffs, winning, and showcasing who we are as a team to whomever is watching.”
Harrison has been contacting college coaches and sending game tapes of Hawkins, who relishes the opportunity of playing at the next level.
“That is a dream of mine, and whatever happens, happens,” Hawkins said. “I’m grateful for what comes my way.”
She is a member of Athletes Helping Athletes (AHA), a Long Island program in which high school student-athletes speak to younger members of their community about various issues.
“My favorite thing is telling middle-school kids how I became involved with basketball and how it’s changed my life,” Hawkins said. “As long as I reach one kid, then I’ve made a big difference.”