Brian “Fame” Hawthorne Reaches for Greater Heights

Athlete of the Week

Brian “Fame” Hawthorne still remembers the day when he was introduced to football during a friend’s practice, and when he first showed up to practice wearing baseball cleats.

Born and raised in Compton, California, Hawthorne embraced the sport of football and became an outstanding defensive back for Santa Monica College during the last two seasons for one reason; he needed it.

“Football saved my life,” said Hawthorne. “Without football I would probably have been a lost soul.”

Recently, Hawthorne has decided to be a preferred walk-on at Washington State University as a cornerback starting in the fall of 2012.

“When I first got here, I was very hungry,” said Hawthorne. “I had stuff to prove.”

Hawthorne entered the season prepared and well trained, but he did not get a starting position.

But when the defensive backs were lacking in performance, Hawthorne was called in during the 3rd quarter of the 2010 season’s first game, and made his first interception.

In the second game, a starting defensive back for SMC injured his knee. Hawthorne was again called upon, and played the rest of the game, making three interceptions, seven tackles, and was nominated to be “Player of the Week.”

During the 2011 league championship game against West Los Angeles, Hawthorne made two interceptions and helped the team win the 2011 Pacific Conference Championship. In 2011, he was also voted first team in the Pacific Conference League.

“We’re really proud of Brian,” said SMC Head Coach Lindheim Gifford. “He is an All Conference player, had 14 interceptions in two years, which is very good. Also he’s so good in attacking the football, and is such a competitor.”

Hawthorne has developed a lot as an athlete both physically and mentally while playing at Nathaniel Narbonne High School and SMC.

“I have to constantly develop my game,” said Hawthorne. “As a football player, if you don’t train, you can only decrease. I feel like I have increased in all aspects of my game.” Additionally, when it comes to training and playing, Hawthorne pays attention to details.

“I like to be well rounded,” said Hawthorne. “I’m a technician.”

Hawthorne loves learning, but also dedicates his free time to teaching and mentoring with Dreams Are for Real, an organization which Hawthorne is creating along with his teammates to help mentor aspiring football players and one day host free football camps.

“Anything is possible,” said Hawthorne. “But in order for it to be possible, there are things that you have to do. I love teaching and helping people.”

Hawthorne strives towards one day playing in the National Football League. His nickname, “Fame,” is part of his motivational tool, which stands for: “Faith, Accountable, Mature, Execution.”

“That’s my dream, and dreams are for real. It is possible,” said Hawthorne.

His dedication to the academics and athletics was what most impressed his coaches and teammates. According to Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Steven Garcia, what a lot of people don’t know is that Hawthorne attended two colleges simultaneously.

At SMC, Hawthorne currently studies liberal arts, but also studied audio engineering at the Art Institute of California, Los Angeles.

“There’s a difference between good and great,” said Hawthorne. “I always strive for greatness.”