Hawkins' name surfaced in an interview conducted with an individual who was involved in the scandal. ABA MVP (1968). All-NBA First Team (1970). |  ", Dazzling hoops great Hawkins dies at age 75, Sources: Agreement near on Dec. 22 NBA start, LeBron seeks answers in death of friend's sister, 'Fast Eddie' Johnson, ex-NBA All-Star, dies at 65, KAT talks mom's COVID battle, coping with loss, Morey fan of Sixers' roster; eyeing championship, Obama details call that helped save NBA season, Inside the political donation history of wealthy sports owners, Warriors' new jerseys are a nod to the team's 'We Believe' era, Jordan team unveils Bubba Wallace's new ride, The people with all the power in NBA free agency, NBA free agency and trade debate: How the Pelicans help Zion, and bold predictions. Hawkins was never directly associated with the scandal, and the principals always contended he had nothing to do with it, but the NBA barred him nonetheless. Hawkins then signed a scholarship offer to play at the University of Iowa. Before there was the persona of "Dr. J," Hawkins produced his own brand of basketball theater, although he played before decidedly smaller houses. Hawkins did not play much until his junior year at Boys High. Hawkins had surgery on his knee. Hawkins was inducted into the Naismith 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. PHOENIX -- Connie Hawkins, basketball's dazzling New York playground legend who soared and swooped his way to the Hall of Fame, has died at 75. He was an actor, known for The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979), Super Slams of the NBA (1991) and NBA Hardwood Classics (1992). Connie Hawkins was born on July 17, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as Cornelius Lance Hawkins. 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. Connie Hawkins was named to the ABA's All-Time Team. Official Sites. [2] The scandal became known as the 1961 college basketball gambling scandal. [7] Hawkins led the ABA in scoring that year and won both the ABA's regular season and playoff MVP awards. The Suns, a 1-year-old franchise at the time, lost a coin flip with Milwaukee for the rights to Lew Alcindor that year but won a separate coin flip with Seattle for the rights to Hawkins. Connie Hawkins was the first Suns player inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. As a result, when his class was eligible for the draft in 1964, no team selected him. Legend! The league paid Hawkins a cash settlement of nearly $1.3 million, and assigned his rights to the expansion Phoenix Suns. Hawkins applied for reinstatement into the NBA in 1970 and was granted it by commissioner Walter Kennedy. His best season in the NBA was his first, when he averaged 24.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. He also played for the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks before retiring in 1976. Hawkins eventually sued the NBA for banning him and, according to his biography on NBA.com, reached a settlement for more than $1 million. Despite being unable to play in the NBA when he was in his prime, Hawkins' performances throughout the ABL, ABA and NBA helped get him get inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. Played college basketball at the University of Iowa. He was an All-Star from 1970 to 1973 and was named to the All-NBA First Team in the 1969–70 season. [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. Four-time NBA All-Star (1970-1973). [11][12], One of Hawkins' nephews is Jim McCoy Jr., who scored a school-record 2,374 career points for the UMass Minutemen basketball team from 1988 to 1992. First Phoenix Sun ever named to NBA First Team (1970). He died on October 6, 2017. |  An original member of the Suns Ring of Honor, he was a community representative for the Phoenix franchise for many years after his retirement. Team MVP (Phoenix Suns-1971). Cornelius Lance "Connie" Hawkins (July 17, 1942 – October 6, 2017) was an American basketball player in the American Basketball League (ABL), American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA), Harlem Globetrotters, and Harlem Wizards. [13][14], He was the grandfather of Shawn Hawkins, who played professional basketball internationally and was a two-time scoring champion in Taiwan's Super Basketball League (SBL). [15], Hawkins retired in Phoenix, Arizona and worked in community relations for the Suns[16][17] for many years until his death on October 6, 2017, at the age of 75 from cancer; no other cause was given. At the time, the NBA had a policy barring players who were even remotely involved with point-shaving scandals. "I was the happiest guy in the world," Hawkins said. "One of the first players to play above the rim," Colangelo said, "and kind of set the tone for those who followed, Julius Erving in particular, in terms of charisma on the court and the ability to do things on court.". 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. 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]. 42 jersey was retired by the Suns. During his senior year he averaged 25.5 points per game, including one game in which he scored 60, and Boys again went undefeated and won the 1960 PSAL title. Due to knee problems, Hawkins played in the NBA for only seven seasons. [8] Although the Pipers made a cursory effort to re-sign him, playing in the NBA had been a longtime ambition for Hawkins and he quickly signed with the Suns. "We lost a legend," said Jerry Colangelo, the Suns general manager when Hawkins played and later the owner of the franchise, "a player I had a very deep affection for who kind of put us on the map.". Cornelius Lance "Connie" Hawkins (July 17, 1942 – October 6, 2017) was an American basketball player in the American Basketball League (ABL), American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA), Harlem Globetrotters, and Harlem Wizards. Played for the University of Iowa (1960-1961). 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.". Hawkins, who lived in the Phoenix area, had been in frail health for several years and was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2007. Cornelius "Connie" Lance Hawkins (July 17, 1942 – October 6, 2017) was an American basketball player in the American Basketball League (ABL), American Basketball Association(ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA), Harlem Globetrotters, and Harlem Wizards. Together Chet and Connie Hawkins had two children — daughter Cynthia Payne and son Charles Hawkins (see the Connie Hawkins obituary here and the Chet Hawkins obituary here ). Community relations representative, Phoenix Suns (1992- present). 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. His death was announced Saturday by the Phoenix Suns, the team with which he spent his most productive NBA seasons in a career delayed for years by a point-shaving scandal that led to the league blackballing him, even though he was never directly linked to any wrongdoing. Family said she had a special talent for keeping everybody out of trouble. The Pipers made the playoffs despite injuries to their top four players, but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. [3], As a result of the investigation, despite never being arrested or indicted, Hawkins was expelled from Iowa. Hawkins missed 11 games due to injury during the 1970–71 season, averaging 21 points per game. 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. Forward Banned in His Prime, Dies at 75", https://www.amazon.com/Foul-Connie-Hawkins-Story-David/dp/0030860210/ref=pd_sbs_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0030860210&pd_rd_r=P0SK8N03E9GT80YTHM5S&pd_rd_w=2WQow&pd_rd_wg=HrUoL&psc=1&refRID=P0SK8N03E9GT80YTHM5S, "SNL Transcripts:Paul Simon: 10/18/75: Weekend Update with Chevy Chase", http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2017/10/07/former-suns-great-connie-hawkins-dies-at-age-75.ht, "Connie Hawkins, Electrifying N.B.A. Connie Hawkins, byname of Cornelius L. Hawkins, also called the Hawk, (born July 17, 1942, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.—died October 6, 2017), American basketball player who is widely regarded as one of the sport’s greatest talents of the 20th century but who had limited impact on the professional leagues. He matched those stats the next year, and was the top scorer on a per-game basis for the Suns in the 1971–72 season. Hawkins toured the world with the Harlem Globetrotters then played two seasons in the ABA and was the league's MVP in 1968, helping the Pittsburgh Pipers to a title. [18], Hawkins with the ABA's most valuable player award in 1968, College and investigation into point-shaving, Expulsion from Iowa and ABL/Globetrotter/ABA years, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, "Pittsburgh had its basketball kings for a day in '68", "50 for 50: The History of the Phoenix Suns – 1969-70", "Connie Hawkins, Electrifying N.B.A. Played for the American Basketball League's Pittsburgh Renaissance (1961-1962 until the league's demise in Dec. 1962), the Harlem Globetrotters (1963-1966), the American Basketball Association's (ABA) Pittsburgh/Minnesota Pipers (1967-1968 through 1968-1969); and the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Phoenix Suns (1969-1970 through 1973-1974), Los Angeles Lakers (1973-1974 thru 1974-1975) and Atlanta Hawks (1975-1976). Hawkins was All-City first team as a junior as Boys went undefeated and won New York's Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) title in 1959. He was a decent shooter, but he was at his best when anyone dared to try to cover him one-on-one. Finally, in 1969, then-commissioner J. Walter Kennedy lifted the ban. Enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. "I was innocent, but no one would listen to me. The Pipers moved to Minnesota for the 1968–69 season, and injuries limited Hawkins to 47 games. He didn't play in the NBA until he was 27, the league keeping its distance because of a college point-shaving scandal in New York City while Hawkins was a freshman at Iowa in 1961. He was, Colangelo said, "a very warm, compassionate guy who was very humble in his own way. He died on October 6, 2017. "Once I became an NBA player, I never looked back. In the final game of his rookie season, Connie had 44 points, 20 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 blocks and 5 steals. ABL All-Star First Team (1962). Plus, coming from a poor family, no one even thought about trying to get a lawyer to fight it. "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.