Sterling, Va. — Next year, quite possibly for the first time in his life, Landon Hawes will play for someone who isn’t his father. Instead, he’ll play for head coach John Krikorian at Christopher Newport University. After a decorated career at Potomac Falls High School, the 6-foot-4 senior guard/forward has made the commitment to join the Captains team starting in the 2020-2021 school year.
“I think I’ll be adding a guy who wants to do anything to help the team succeed,” Hawes said. “I’ll be adding a guy who will want to be in the gym 24/7, getting better with his teammates.”
Hawes began playing basketball at a young age, largely because of his father, a long time basketball coach.
“My dad really introduced me to basketball at a young age, and I wasn’t very good or very engaged with it,” he said. “Towards the end of middle school and freshman year is when I started to take it seriously and really work on my craft. Now it just comes natural for me to want to get in the gym constantly and get better at the game I love so much.”
Landon Hawes grew up in a basketball family. His father, Jeff Hawes, has coached at Potomac Falls High School for quite literally Landon’s entire life. His older brother Hayden was a teammate, playing with Landon for three years as a Panther.
“Playing for my father has been better than I could have ever imagined and something that I will look back on everyday of my life,” Hawes said. “Not many kids get the opportunity to do so, and I think I got a pretty good coach as well as dad to do it with. It’s had its ups and downs, but this year especially, we have really bonded and used it to gain extra time picking each other’s brains as to what we can do to further improve our team. I love everything about it.”
The Hawes family is Loudoun County basketball royalty, creating a program known for excellence. Landon continued that legacy. Coach Hawes saw Landon’s transformation occur in front of his very own eyes, culminating in Hawes being named the VHSL Region 5C Player of the Year in 2020.
“He’s developed himself as a player that’s very hard to defend. He can score from all four levels: threes, mid-range, post up, and the free throw line,” Coach Hawes said. “He’s crafty at getting himself there, and he’s gotten stronger.”
Potomac Falls was expected to do big things in 2019-2020, and they lived up to that expectation. In just the last two years, the father-son duo have won two Potomac District titles, two Region 5C titles, and have won at least one state playoff game in each season. They have been the gold standard of a coach and a player, a father and a son.
I fell in love with [CNU] after my official visit and loved everything about the way the program was run, the school, the kids on the team. They made me feel like a part of something that I wasn’t even a part of yet, and I loved that aspect.
—Potomac Falls guard/forward Landon Hawes
It was a long process for Hawes to find out where he was going to continue his basketball career, but he’s happy to see it come to fruition.
“It’s a great feeling to get it off my back because I had been stressing over the decision for probably about two years,” Hawes said. “Now I can go out there and compete in states without the worry of college.”
Hawes’ commitment makes him the second Potomac Falls hoops star to go to the Captains in as many years, as 2019 Panthers’ graduate Ian Anderson is nearing the end of his freshman season at CNU, averaging 9.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
“Ian didn’t have much of a role in my decision,” Hawes said. “But, it’s very nice to know I have a good friend that I can trust and bond with down there already and who can really introduce me to everything and get me going when I’m there.”
The Captains are in the midst of a successful campaign, having won their first two games in the Division III NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 23-6, including 9-1 inside the Capital Athletic Conference.
“I fell in love with [CNU] after my official visit and loved everything about the way the program was run, the school, the kids on the team,” Hawes said. “They made me feel like a part of something that I wasn’t even a part of yet, and I loved that aspect.”
That feeling of family is one that Hawes has had his entire basketball career, and it’s one he relishes and hopes continues on.
“Potomac Falls basketball has been the best experience of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Hawes said. “I have created so many friends and memories that I will never forget.”