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Nikita Lowry Dawkins

2023 Inductee


Nikita Lowry Dawkins

  • Nikita Lowry Dawkins

Nikita Lowry Dawkins

Birthdate: November 3, 1967
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan
High School: Detroit Cass Tech High School (1985)
College: The Ohio State University (1985-89)
Year Inducted: 2023 

A Detroit native with striking athletic ability, Nikita Lowry Dawkins quickly became a true standout at Ohio State during the late 1980s. From 1985-89, she helped lead the Buckeyes to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including two trips to the Elite Eight, and three Big Ten titles. During her senior campaign, she was named a Kodak and Street & Smith All-American, the Big Ten Player of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, and was a unanimous all-conference selection. 

As a junior and still known as Nikita Lowry, she led the conference in scoring with an average of 23.7 points per game, making her the first player in program history to best 20 ppg since 1979. She also tied for the league lead in rebounds that season. In her senior campaign of 1988-89, OSU was 24-6 overall and 16-2 in league play with Lowry at the forefront. She again averaged more than 20 points per game as a senior and led the Big Ten in field-goal percentage and steals. 

In 2000, she was inducted into Ohio State’s Athletics Hall of Fame and in 2002 she was named to the school’s All-Century Team. A two-time All-American, Dawkins also was named to the second team of the Big Ten All-Decade Team. 

Following her graduation with a degree in economics, Dawkins spent a year abroad playing professionally in Italy. Internationally, Dawkins has enjoyed great success with USA Basketball, both as a coach and a player. In 2002, she was an assistant with the U.S. 20-and-Under squad that won the gold medal at the COPABA Young Women’s World Championships in Brazil. During her collegiate days, she was a member of two USA Select Teams (1988 and 1990), the World University Team (1989), and the Junior National Team (1987). In all, she was the recipient of four gold medals and one silver. 

Dawkins began her coaching career at the University of Michigan in 1991 before returning to her alma mater for a three-year stint in 1993. That led to her becoming a head coach at the University of Detroit Mercy, where she guided the Titans to a Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) title and the school’s first-ever NCAA appearance in 1997. She went on to serve as both an assistant and head coach at New Mexico State and then as a trusted assistant and recruiting coordinator at traditional power Old Dominion. After 25+ years of Division I coaching, she has coached 15 WNBA players, 6 Player of the Year recipients, several All-Academic and All Conference recipients and 9 NCAA Tournaments. 

Dawkins and her husband, Tony – a men’s college, NBDL, and WNBA official – reside in Chesapeake, Virginia. They are the proud parents of twins, Isaiah and Imani.