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Connie Hawkins
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Baseball Player
    (July 17, 1942-October 6, 2017)
    Born in Brooklyn, New York
    Played for the Pittsburgh Rens (1961-63), Harlem Globetrotters (1963-67), Pittsburgh/Minnesota Pipers (1967-69), Phoenix Suns (1969-73), Los Angeles Lakers (1973-75) and Atlanta Hawks (1975-76)
    American Basketball League MVP (1962)
    American Basketball Association MVP (1968)
    Combined ABA/NBA stats:
    11,528 points
    5,450 rebounds
    2,556 assists
    #42 retired by the Phoenix Suns
    Inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame (1992)
    He began smoking marijuana and drinking cheap wine by age 14.
    When he graduated high school, he read at only the seventh grade level.
    He borrowed $250 from Jack Molinas, a bookie who organized a point-shaving conspiracy involving several college athletes.
    As a result of his connection to Molinas, he was expelled from the University of Iowa (1961).
    Bad knees limited his playing time in the NBA.
    He led Boys High School in Brooklyn to back-to-back undefeated seasons and Public School Athletic League championships (1959-60).
    He could not have been involved in point shaving since he was a freshman and, under the NCAA rules of that time, he was ineligible to play varsity sports.
    He was prevented from seeing a lawyer while detectives investigating the scandal interrogated him.
    Despite a lack of evidence of wrongdoing, he was blackballed by the NBA.
    He filed a $6 million suit against the NBA, which was settled for a $1.3 million cash payment and a five-year contract with the Suns.
    He joked about his high-flying style, ‘Someone said if I didn’t break the laws of gravity, I was slow to obey them.’

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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