Suns legend Hawkins dead at 75

[PHOTO: COURTESY]

Connie Hawkins, a Basketball Hall of Fame forward who starred for the Harlem Globetrotters as well as the NBA Phoenix Suns, has died aged 75, the Suns announced on Saturday.

"The Hawk" launched his career on the famed New York outdoor courts of Rucker Park and led two unbeaten high school teams to titles.

Hawkins was linked to a college basketball gambling scandal in 1961 but was never arrested or indicted. Despite that, he was denied a place at top US college teams or in the NBA.

He spent three years with the Globetrotters and four more with minor-league basketball clubs before reaching a settlement with the NBA in 1969 that saw him join the expansion Suns.

His flamboyant style of play, acrobatic leaps and slam dunks matching artistry and flair with skill and athleticism, made him a pioneer of the style used by such players as Michael Jordan that popularized the sport worldwide.

"'The Hawk' revolutionized the game and remains to this day an icon of the sport and one of basketball's great innovators," a statement from the Suns said. "His unique combination of size, grace and athleticism was well ahead of its time and his signature style of play is now a hallmark of the modern game."

[PHOTO: COURTESY]

Knee injuries limited Hawkins to only seven NBA campaigns but he averaged 18.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists a game for the Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks.

Hawkins was the first superstar sports figure in Phoenix, taking a new club and making it a contender. His jersey number, 42, was retired by the Suns and he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

"Connie's passion for the game was only matched by his desire to give back to the Phoenix community, a role which he played proudly as a Suns community ambassador, spreading warmth and kindness to everyone he encountered," the team statement said.

"We will miss Hawk dearly... we mourn the passing of a true Suns legend."

Next Story
LATEST STORIES
Phil Neville interested in Everton top job

Phil Neville has put his hat in the ring for the Everton job - as the club confirmed David Unsworth is in temporary charge.

Why Romelu Lukaku’s mother had to accompany him in youth games

In an interview with Mino Raiola, the super-agent has spoken about client Romelu Lukaku and the problems he had at youth level.

Arsenal 'considering move for Brazilian starlet'

Arsenal are considering a move for Brazilian starlet Alan Guimaraes - but face competition from Real Madrid.

Ronaldo retains FIFA award for world's best player

Real Madrid’s Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo was crowned the best soccer player in the world for the second year running at FIFA’s The Best awards gala on Monday.

What Gor Mahia need to be the giants they ought to be

I’ll start off by congratulating Gor Mahia for winning their 16th league title. Good work indeed. Winning four league titles in the last five seasons is not just something that can go unappreciated – FANTASTIC.

Boxing Association of Kenya releases new guidelines

From next season, clubs will be required to field at least six players in any National Boxing League tournament to receive financial funding from the Boxing Association of Kenya.

More Stories
Basketball: Zetech continue with mixed signals in the league

Zetech University scrapped a half-basket win as they edged out University of Nairobi Terror 44-43 in the Kenya Basketball Federation men’s Division One League at Upper Hill School at the weekend.

Basketball: Mixed results in KBF as JKUAT sail to play-off semis

Zetech teams had mixed results in the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) leagues staged in Nairobi over the weekend.

Suns legend Hawkins dead at 75

Connie Hawkins, a Basketball Hall of Fame forward who starred for the Harlem Globetrotters as well as the NBA Phoenix Suns, has died aged 75, the Suns announced on Saturday.

Basketball: The Kenyan ladies prove their worth

KPA show might in regional tourney

Basketball: Nakuru Club beat Nazarene

Nakuru Club narrowly defeated Nazarene University 46-43 to win their penultimate Kenya Basketball Federation National Division One League match ahead of the play-offs at Upper Hill School in Nairobi over the weekend.

Basketball: KPA defends regional crown in Kampala

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) women’s team defended their title at Africa Zone V Championships in Kampala, Uganda, last night.

KPA battle City Oilers in semis: Analysts predict tough ride for dockers in semis

Equity Bank Hawks and Uganda Christian University Canons lock horns in Kampala.

KPA runs riot as Equity extends unbeaten run in Fiba Africa Zone V

Women’s defending champions Kenya Ports Authority proved they are back on track by whopping Horseed from Somalia 85-32 yesterday at the ongoing 2017 Fiba Africa Zone V Clubs Basketball Championships at Lugogo Indoor Arena in Kampala, Uganda.

Nakuru Club qualify for KBF play-offs

Nakuru Club has qualified for the Kenya Basketball Federation National Division One play-offs following their 71-61 victory against Strathmore University in a National Division One match at Menengai High School over the weekend.

Equity continue to soar in basketball

Equity Bank Hawks proved they are in a class of their own when they thrashed Horseed from Somalia 93-43 to win their third match at the Fiba Africa Zone V Clubs Basketball Championships at Lugogo Indoor Arena in Kampala, Uganda.