Sept. 19, 2000
In a new segment called Player Diary, a student athlete will help us experience a different side of athletics. This week cornerback Ahmad Hawkins chronicles his experiences at last week's Duke football game in Durham, North Carolina. Ahmad played wide receiver for the Cavs his first three seasons before switching to cornerback this Spring. He is a fourth year Religious Studies major from Hampton, Virginia. Ahmad is the son of Adolph and Diane Hawkins.
Friday, September 15, 2000...1:30 pm
We are on our way to the airport. Everyone is pretty much relaxed, mostly joking with each other about what we had to wear to the game.
We have just boarded the plane and are ready to get to the hotel to relax for a while before our meeting later on at 6. Right now I am just praying to God that He allows us to have a safe flight to Durham.
We have just taken off and right now this flight has a lot of turbulence, so a lot of the guys are making a bunch of noise because the turbulence is making their stomach's drop. There are a lot of my teammates who don't like to fly, but they can ride roller coasters. I, on the other hand, hate roller coasters. I call them death rides, but I love to fly in airplanes. I guess because I can't see what's in front of me.
My girlfriend seems to think that I am scared of roller coasters, but that's not the reason I don't ride them. I don't ride them because I was almost thrown out of the Rebel Yell at Kings Dominion when I was in high school. But enough about that. I am about to listen to some music so I can start to get my mind right for the game tomorrow.
We have just landed and we are loading the buses for this hour ride to the hotel. I am ready to get to my room and take a long nap. I am really hungry and we don't eat until 6:00, so I guess I will just tough it out unless I can find a snack bar somewhere.
Right now I am relaxing in my bed. I just finished talking to my girlfriend and my family. I always have to hear their voices the night before a football game to remind of what I am playing for...after God of course. I have to talk to my uncle, a minister back in Hampton, because I feel safe knowing that through his prayers and blessings from God I will have no fear of any human being on the field of battle.
My mother always says "Don't feel pain, give pain." That is my motto when my body starts to ache. When talking to my family, all my worries are gone because they are the people, besides God, who push me to work harder than anybody in the game or in practice. Without God and my family, there is no telling what kind of person I would be...let alone what kind of athlete.
I sleep in my high school championship shirt that I wear in the locker room before every game. This reminds me what hard work can accomplish. Well it's time for me to spend time with the Lord before I go to bed. Every night I read the word of God to help me become a better "Christian" athlete. Without God, I would not exist. After my reading I pray to him. When I wake up in the morning I know my prayers are answered because I believe in his power. Plus, I have lived to see another day and that is a good start.
Saturday, September 16...3:00 pm
Gameday. We have finished our meetings, watching tapes, and meals. It is now time for some fun. It's time to perform for the man upstairs and have faith that He will yet again protect my team and I through another game. My parents and girlfriend were having a safe trip to the game when I last talked to them. That was about five minutes ago. I am so hyped to play Duke. Only God and time will tell what my performance will be and who will be victorious.
We are now on the bus to the stadium, and as usual I am listening to 2-Pac. I have to listen to 2-Pac before every game. I have done this since high school except for last year. Last year I listened to anything and we did not do so well. 2-Pac is the good luck charm.
Well, we won the game. We may not have played as well as we wanted to, but God helped us achieve victory and we thank him. It feels good to have another win going into the Clemson game. Duke passed the ball a lot and that will help us prepare against Clemson. I just pray that this team stays healthy and that God continues to heal Arlen's [Harris] knee and Stan's [Norfleet] knee so they can come back into the lineup and help us continue to win. As long as we have faith in God in all that we do, then this team will achieve all goals that are laid in front. Without God's help their will be no victory because we cannot do it by ourselves, even though we may think otherwise. Through Him all good things will follow, as long as we are patient and have faith.