Suns Hall of Famer Hawkins dies at age 75

Oct 7 (The Sports Xchange) - Hall of Famer and Phoenix Suns star forward Connie Hawkins, who played seven seasons in the NBA, has died at the age of 75.

Hawkins, nicknamed "The Hawk" and a Brooklyn playground legend, played four All-Star seasons with the Suns from 1969 to 1973. He also played for the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks.

The Suns, who retired Hawkins' number 42 jersey, announced Saturday that he passed away on Friday.

"'The Hawk' revolutionized the game and remains to this day an icon of the sport and one of basketball's great innovators," the Suns said in a statement. "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.

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Basketball Hall of Famer Connie Hawkins
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Basketball Hall of Famer Connie Hawkins
INGLEWOOD, CA - JANUARY 18: Connie Hawkins #42 of the West drives against the East during the 1972 NBA All-Star Game on January 18, 1972 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The West defeated the East 112-110. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1972 NBAE (Photo by Wen Roberts/NBAE via Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - 1980: Julius Erving #6 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives the ball up court against Connie Hawkins #42 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game played circa 1980 at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1980 NBAE (Photo by Wen Roberts/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 2: Amare Stoudemire (L) #1 of the Phoenix Suns and Basketball Hall of Fame member Connie Hawkins of the Phoenix Suns host the Jr. Suns Jr. Mercury fundraiser event on November 2, 2006, at RA in Scottsdale, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2006 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHOENIX - 1970: Connie Hawkins #43 of the Phoenix Suns poses for a portrait in 1970 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1970 NBAE (Photo by NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON - 1973: Connie Hawkins #42 of the Phoenix Suns shoots a jump shot against the Boston Celtics during a game played in 1973 at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1973 NBAE (Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - 1970: Connie Hawkins#42 of the Atlanta Hawks puts up a shot from under the basket against the New York Knicks during an NBA game at Madison Square Garden circa 1970 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1970 NBAE (Photo by NBA Photo Library/NBAE via Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE - 1969: Connie Hawkins of the Phoenix Suns sits on the bench during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1969 season at the MECCA Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1969 NBAE (Photo by Vernon Biever/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks vs Phoenix Suns - Knicks' Cazzie Russell lets go with one-hander but Connie Hawkins of the Phoenix Suns goes up to grab it during action at the Garden last night. After eight years in NBA exile, Hawkins returned home to score 27 points but Knicks outshone the Suns, 140-116. (Photo By: Walter Kelleher/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, MA - SEPTEMBER 7: Basketball Hall of Fame electees (L-R) Lou Carnesecca, Billy Cunningham, Harry Gallatin and Connie Hawkins hold a discussion during the Basketball Hall of Fame reunion dinner at the Marriott September 7, 2006 in Springfield, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2006 NBAE (Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images)
ATLANTA - 1970: Connie Hawkins #4 of the Atlanta Hawks drives to the basket against the Philadelphia 76ers during a game at the Omni in 1970 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2002 NBAE (Photo by NBA Photo Library/NBAE/Getty Images)
BOSTON - 1968: Connie Hawkins #33 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots against the Boston Celtics during a game played circa 1968 at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1968 NBAE (Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)
Former basketball players Connie Hawkins (L) and Bill Russell arrive for a memorial service for basketball star Wilt Chamberlain at The City of Angels Church of Religious Science in Mar Vista near Los Angeles October 16. Chamberlain, 63, died of congestive heart failure at his Los Angeles home October 12. FSP/JP
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"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. We will miss Hawk dearly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends as we mourn the passing of a true Suns legend."

The 6-foot-8 Hawkins averaged 16.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals during his NBA career.

Before joining the NBA at age 27, Hawkins played two seasons in the American Basketball Association, winning the league title and MVP honors with the Pittsburgh Pipers in 1967-68. He also played four seasons with the Harlem Globetrotters in the 1960s.

He became the first Suns player to be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Suns great Steve Nash tweeted: "Gonna miss the Hawk! Legend! RIP."

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Notable deaths in 2017
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Notable deaths in 2017

Clare Hollingworth, a veteran war correspondent widely known for breaking the news that WWII had started, died on January 10. She was 105 years old.

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Eugene A. Cernan, the last NASA astronaut to walk on the moon, died at the age of 82 on January 16.

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John Hurt, known for his role in the Harry Potter series and Elephant Man, died on January 25 at the age of 77. The English actor was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015.

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Legendary actress Mary Tyler Moore died on January 25. She was 80.

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Actor Miguel Ferrer, known for his roles in 'NCIS: Los Angeles' and 'Crossing Jordan' died from cancer in January. He was 61.

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Tilikum, the killer whale featured in the documentary 'Blackfish' died in January.

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(REUTERS/Russel McPhedran (REUTERS/Russel McPhedran)

William Peter Blatty, author of 'The Exorcist,' died in January. He was 89 years old.

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Physicist Mildred Dresselhaus, known as the 'Queen of Carbon' and pioneer of nanoscience, died in February. She was 86.

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Legendary professional wrestler George 'The Animal' Steele died in February. He was 79.

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Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez reportedly committed suicide in the jail cell where he was serving a life sentence for murder in April. He was 27.

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Roger Ailes, who founded FOX News, died at the age of 77 on May 18.

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Jim Bunning, a former professional baseball pitcher and U.S. senator for Kentucky, died on May 26. He was 85.

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Gregg Allman, founding member of the Allman Brother Band, died on May 27. He was 69 years old.

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Frank Deford, a sports journalist and novelist, died on May 28 at the age of 78. He was known for his longtime tenure at Sports Illustrated.

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Former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning, died in May before going to prison after being convicted of being an accessory to murder of at least 170,000 people. He was 95.

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Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell committed suicide in his Detroit hotel room in May. He was 52 years old.

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Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser under President Jimmy Carter, died in May. The father of 'Morning Joe' co-host Mika Brzezinski was 89.

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Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months, died less than a week after being returned home in coma in June. He was 22.

(KYODO Kyodo/Reuters)

Prodigy, who made up one half of Mobb Deep, died in June. He was 42.

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Author of the Paddington Bear books, Michael Bond, died at his home from a short illness in June. He was 91.

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NFL player James Hardy's body was pulled from an Indiana river in June. The coroner later ruled his death a suicide, he was 31 years old.

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Fashion designer Carla Fendi, who helped transform her parents' small leather workshop into a luxury fashion brand died on June 19 at the age of 79.

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Nelsan Ellis, who starred in the HBO series True Blood, died on July 8 from alcohol withdrawal after years of struggling with substance abuse. He was 39 years old.

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Lead singer of rock band Linkin Park Chester Bennington was found dead on July 20 from an apparent suicide. He was 41 years old.

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Margaret Bergmann Lambert, the German Jewish high jumper who was thrown out of the 1936 Berlin Olympics by the Nazis because of her heritage died in July. She was 103 year's old.

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John Heard, known for his role as the father in the Home Alone films, died on July 21. Some reports say he was 71-years-old, however, others have his age listed as 72.

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Critically ill baby Charlie Gard, the infant at the center of legal battle over further treatment died in July. He was 11 months old.

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Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who won the Nobel Peace Prize while jailed, died of multiple organ failure in July at the age of 61.

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June Foray died on July 26 at the age of 99. The iconic voice actress is known for voicing Rocky and Natash in the Rocky and Bulwinkle Show, as well as Cindy Lou Who in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

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Bob Wolff, the pioneering television voice of the Washington Senators, died in July at the age of 96.

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Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor Sam Shepard died on July 27 at the age of 73.

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Dick Gregory, comedian and civil rights activist, died on August 19 at the age of 84.

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Haruo Nakajima, who dressed in a rubber suit to play the original Godzilla, died from pneumonia in August. He was 88 years old.

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Jeannie Rousseau de Clarens, one of the remarkable spies of World War II, died on August 23 in France at the age of 98. https://t.co/uG1zzaFB2J

Comedian Jerry Lewis died on August 20. He was 91 years old.

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Swedish journalist Kim Wall died while on board Danish inventor Peter Madsen's submarine for an interview in August. She was 30 years old.

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Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner died in his home at the Playboy Mansion of natural causes on September 27. He was 91 years old.

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Gay rights pioneer Edith Windsor, whose landmark legal case paved the way for gay marriage died in September. She was 88.

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Boxing legend Jake La Motta, who was played by Robert De Niro in the movie 'Raging Bull,' died at the age of 95 on September 19. 

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Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L'Oreal fortune and world's richest woman, died at her home in September. She was 94.

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Troy Gentry of the country duo Montgomery Gentry died in a helicopter crash in September. He was 50 years old.

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Watertown, Massachusetts resident David Henneberry, the man who found Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding in his boat in his backyard, died in September. He was 70 years old.

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Robert ' Red' Miller, the former Denver Broncos coach who led them to their first ever Super Bowl, died in September at the age of 89.

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Michelle Rounds, Rosie O'Donnell's ex-wife reportedly committed suicide in September. She was 46.

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58 people were killed in October when a gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas. They ranged in age from 20 to 67.

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Tom Petty, the famed and beloved rocker behind hits like 'American Girl' and 'Free Fallin,' died in October following a cardiac arrest. He was 66.

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Legendary New Orleans musician Fats Domino died of natural causes at the age of 89 at the end of October.

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Jalal Talabani, the Kurdish leader who became Iraq's first president after the ouster of Saddam Hussein died in October. He was 83 years old.

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Phoenix Suns Hall of Famer Connie Hawkins died in October at the age of 75. 

(Photo by Wen Roberts/NBAE via Getty Images)

Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in October when a powerful bomb blew up her car. She as 53.

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U.S. Army Special Forces Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson, U.S. Special Forces Sgt. Bryan Black, U.S. Special Forces Sgt. Dustin Wright and U.S. Special Forces Sgt. La David Johnson were killed in an ambush in Niger, West Africa on October 4th.

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Former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay died after his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico in November. He was 40 years old.

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A man killed 26 people, including an unborn child, when he opened fire at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas in November. 

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(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

Charles Manson, the cult leader who sent followers known as the "Manson Family" out to commit gruesome murders, died of natural causes at the age of 83 on November 19.

(Handout . / Reuters)

Renowned Russian baritone Dmitry Hvorostovski died from complications from brain cancer in November. He was 55.

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Former NFL wide receiver Terry Glenn was killed in a car crash in Texas on November 20 at the age of 43.

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Tennis star Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic, a Wimbledon champion and 16-time grand slam winner, died in November after a long battle with cancer. She was 49.

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David Cassidy, 'The Partridge Family' star and '70s heartthrob died November 21 after being placed in a medically induced coma. He was 67 years old.

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Bobby Doerr, Boston Red Sox legend and Hall of Fame second baseman died in November. The 99-year-old was the oldest living major league baseball player.

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American gospel singer and actress Della Reese, from the television show 'Touched by an Angel' died at her California home in November at the age of 86.  

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Russian extreme sport star Valery Rozov died while attempting a massive base jump from a mountain in the Himalayas in November. He was 52.

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Former Chicago Bears defensive end John Thierry died in November. One of his former teammates said the 46-year-old suffered a heart attack.

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Popular New York gossip columnist writer Liz Smith died in November. She was 94 years old.

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Jim Nabors, widely adored for playing Gomer Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show," passed away in November 2017 at age 87.

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Anthony Senerchia, the activist who helped inspire the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' phenomenon in 2014, died after a long battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease on November 25. He was 46.

(Photo via Anthony Senerchia Jr. ALS Charitable Foundation)

Lowell Hawthorne, the founder of the Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery chain died in December. New York's medical examiner said the 57-year-old shot himself in the head.

(Photo By: David Handschuh/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

John Anderson, a former Republican congressman who ran an independent campaign against Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election, died in December. He was 95.

(Photo by Chuck Fishman/Getty Images)

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, died on December 12, hours after appearing at a public event.  The city's first Asian-American mayor was 65 years old.

(David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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