EL SEGUNDO – The following statement was issued today by CEO & Controlling Owner Jeanie Buss on behalf of the team:
“We are saddened to hear the news regarding Tommy Hawkins. He was and will always be part of the Lakers family. He was a member of the Lakers when the team moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles and he made LA his home. Tommy not only contributed as a player but also as a sports executive and broadcaster. His baritone voice and easy demeanor made him a favorite of the fans and media as well as everyone who had the honor of calling him a friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hawkins family.”
Originally from Chicago, Hawkins attended the University of Notre Dame before being drafted by the Lakers in 1959. Hawkins remains the Fighting Irish’s career leader in rebounds with 1,318 boards in his illustrious career. Inducted into the Notre Dame Basketball Ring of Honor in 2015, Hawkins was the first African-American to earn All-America honors for the Fighting Irish.
Selected in the first round by the then-Minneapolis Lakers, Hawkins played one season in Minnesota, before moving with the team to Los Angeles. Hawkins would go on to play six seasons with the Lakers, averaging 9.0 points and 5.7 rebounds in 454 games.