"It's just a coincidence that I'm going from playing for coach Brown to playing for someone he coached in high school," Hawes said with a laugh. "Coach Truax tried to recruit me out of high school. They have had me sending messages back and forth. You can see a lot of them in each other."
The choice was a enthusiastically endorsed by Brown.
"I'm so pleased to be sending one of my former players to Towson State," Brown said. "I'm prejudiced, but I don't think Alphonso could play for a better coach in the country."
For Hawes, it will be the end of a long, strange journey home.
After graduating from Baltimore Southern, Hawes bypassed Towson State to sign with Dixie College, a junior college in St. George, Utah.
"I wasn't happy with the playing time I was getting so I transfered here," he said.
The move put Hawes behind academically because some of his credits at Dixie College were disallowed at HJC, forcing him to spend an extra semester in school. Hawes will begin classes at Towson State for the spring semester but will be ineligible to play until the 1997-98 season.
Hawes chose to return to Towson State after visiting the University of Missouri-Kansas City, American University, Coastal Carolina and St. Peters. The tug of local ties made his decision easy.
"Staying close to home was a big deal," Hawes said. "The main reason for the decision is that I have a two-year-old daughter at home and a friend here in Hagerstown to stay close to. Plus it will give my mother a chance to see me play in my last two seasons of basketball."