Played college basketball at the University of Iowa. During Hawkins' freshman year at Iowa, he was a victim of the hysteria surrounding a point-shaving scandal that had started in New York City. Forward Banned in His Prime, Dies at 75",, "SNL Transcripts:Paul Simon: 10/18/75: Weekend Update with Chevy Chase",, "Connie Hawkins, Electrifying N.B.A. First Phoenix Sun ever named to NBA First Team (1970). Hawkins' name surfaced in an interview conducted with an individual who was involved in the scandal. For the series, Hawkins averaged 25 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists per game. Connie Hawkins was the first Suns player inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. "The Hawk," as he came to be known for his soaring repertoire, was born July 17, 1942, in Brooklyn, where he could dunk by the age of 11 and ruled the asphalt playgrounds, tales of his basketball feats spreading across the boroughs. was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. After that league folded in the middle of the 1962–63 season, Hawkins spent four years performing with the Harlem Globetrotters. Hawkins missed 11 games due to injury during the 1970–71 season, averaging 21 points per game. "Someone said if I didn't break them, I was slow to obey them," Hawkins once said. The Pipers made the playoffs despite injuries to their top four players, but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Official Sites. ", Gonna miss the Hawk! Enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. Connie Hawkins worked as a bookkeeper for Steady Transport and raised their kids. [2][4], With the major professional basketball league having blackballed him, Hawkins played one season for the Pittsburgh Rens of the American Basketball League (ABL), an aspiring rival to the NBA, and was named the league's most valuable player. Hell, no. Due to knee problems, Hawkins played in the NBA for only seven seasons. He was an All-Star from 1970 to 1973 and was named to the All-NBA First Team in the 1969–70 season. [5], During the time Hawkins was traveling with the Globetrotters, he filed a $6 million lawsuit against the NBA, claiming the league had unfairly banned him from participation and that there was no substantial evidence linking him to gambling activities. He was, Colangelo said, "a very warm, compassionate guy who was very humble in his own way. Seeking to avoid a defeat in court which might jeopardize its ability to bar players who had actually participated in gambling, the NBA elected to settle after the 1968–69 season and admit Hawkins to the league. Hawkins joined the Pittsburgh Pipers in the inaugural 1967–68 season of the ABA, leading the team to a 54–24 regular season record and the 1968 ABA championship. A New York City playground legend, "the Hawk" was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. |  An original member of the Suns Ring of Honor, he was a community representative for the Phoenix franchise for many years after his retirement. The Suns did not disclose the cause of Friday's death. While some of the conspirators and characters involved were known to or knew Hawkins, none – including the New York attorney at the center of the scandal, Jack Molinas – had ever sought to involve Hawkins in the conspiracy. NBA commissioner J. Walter Kennedy let it be known that he would not approve any contract for Hawkins to play in the league. Hawkins had borrowed $200 from Molinas for school expenses, which his brother Fred repaid before the scandal broke in 1961. He was an actor, known for The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979), Super Slams of the NBA (1991) and NBA Hardwood Classics (1992). The league paid Hawkins a cash settlement of nearly $1.3 million, and assigned his rights to the expansion Phoenix Suns. Colangelo has said that if Hawkins would have come into the league through college at the normal age, "he could have been one of the top 10 or 15 players to ever play the game.". In 1962, he and three other college basketball players were banned from playing in the NBA for life by then-NBA commissioner Maurice Podoloff for associating with professional gambler Jack Molinas. His best season in the NBA was his first, when he averaged 24.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. His No. "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. Hawkins had surgery on his knee. Other Works I'm just glad I was able to play.". "It was totally devastating," Hawkins said in a 2009 interview with He died on October 6, 2017. At the time, the NBA had a policy barring players who were even remotely involved with point-shaving scandals. Hawkins's lawyers suggested that he participate in the new American Basketball Association (ABA) as a way to establish his talent level as adequate to participate in the NBA.[6]. He averaged only 16 points per game for the Suns in the 1972–73 season, and was traded to the Lakers for the next season. ABL All-Star First Team (1962). All-NBA First Team (1970). Hawkins was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. Hawkins applied for reinstatement into the NBA in 1970 and was granted it by commissioner Walter Kennedy.

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