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Hall of Famer Connie Hawkins dies at age 75

Hall of Fame forward Connie Hawkins died Friday at the age of 75, according to the Phoenix Suns.

Hawkins played seven seasons in the NBA, including four All-Star seasons with the Suns from 1969 to 1973. He also played for the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks.

"'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."

The Suns told The Associated Press that they confirmed Hawkins' death with his family.

The 6-foot-8 Hawkins was a dazzling playground legend in New York City who rose to basketball's heights but didn't play in the NBA until he was 27.

Before joining the NBA, Hawkins played two seasons in the ABA, winning the league title and MVP honors with the Pittsburgh Pipers in 1967-68. Hawkins also played four seasons with the Harlem Globetrotters in the 1960s.

In 1992, Hawkins became the first Suns player to be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

"We will miss Hawk dearly," the team said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends as we mourn the passing of a true Suns legend."

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