Blog Entry

NBA All-Star Walt Hazzard dies at 69

Posted on: November 18, 2011 7:21 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2011 12:02 pm
Posted by Ben Golliverwalt-hazzard

Former NBA All-Star and UCLA standout Walt Hazzard died in Los Angeles on Friday night at the age of 69, reports. Hazzard had been battling a "long illness."
"This is a sad day for the UCLA basketball family," said Bruin athletic director Dan Guerrero said in a press release from UCLA.

"Walt was the catalyst for Coach John Wooden's first championship team and played the game with a style that excited Bruin basketball fans everywhere. He contributed to his alma mater in numerous ways, including as a student-athlete, coach and honored alum, and he will be greatly missed by all of us know knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Jaleesa, and their four sons."

"Walt was one of the pillars of UCLA's first championship team in men's basketball," said UCLA head men's basketball coach Ben Howland.
Hazzard, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound guard, played 10 years in the NBA, featuring stops with the Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle SuperSonics, Atlanta Hawks, Buffalo Braves and the Golden State Warriors. He posted career averages of 12.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists and was selected to the 1968 All-Star Game when he posted a career-high 24.0 points for Seattle.

On Friday evening, the Lakers, who drafted him in the first round of the 1964 NBA Draft, issued a statement.
"Walt was a man of extremely high character, who served the Lakers for many years as a player, a scout and a consultant,” said Lakers Owner Dr. Jerry Buss.  “Our sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time, and we feel fortunate that he was part of the Lakers family for so many years.”

“First and foremost, our condolences go out to the Hazzard family,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.  “Not only was Walt an outstanding player, but his knowledge of the game was extremely valuable to our front office as well over the past 17 years.  In the years since his stroke, he has been an inspiration to many of us with his perseverance and his passion for the game.”
A college All-American and the Most Outstanding Player of the 1964 NCAA Final Four, Hazzard is best known for playing on the undefeated UCLA team coached by John Wooden that won the school's first NCAA title. UCLA retired his No. 42 jersey.  He later won a gold medal as a player at the 1964 Olympics.

After his retirement from the NBA, Hazzard coached at UCLA from 1984-1988, compiling a 77-47 career record, and worked as both a scout and a consultant for the Lakers. 

In 1996, Hazzard suffered a debilitating stroke that reportedly nearly took his life.

Since: Dec 7, 2007
Posted on: November 18, 2011 11:35 pm

NBA All-Star Walt Hazzard passes away

 Maybe 18 -20 years ago the Atlanta Hawks had a closed luncheon for a gathering  players who had played or were with the Hawks. I had the pleasure of being one of the handful of people who the Hawks had asked to attend. Walt was one of the players and I sat between him and Sweet Lou Hudson. The pleasure of listening to the banter tween them was great, the friendly way I was included in their conversation was welcome.
 Everyday when entering my computer room I pass by a pennant on the wall. It's an old Hawks blue pennant with it's logo more like the Seahawks logo than the Red Atlanta Hawk of today. Lou Hudson signed in the middle with Walt's signature right below his. Not everyday do I stop to examine it, but every once in a while I do and think back to that lunch with a smile.
 RIP Walt

Since: Mar 15, 2007
Posted on: November 18, 2011 10:58 pm

NBA All-Star Walt Hazzard passes away

Wow, a debilitating stroke at age 53.  So very glad Walt had a great first 50 years of life.  That is so young to become an old man.  RIP Walt and condolences to the family.

Since: Apr 30, 2007
Posted on: November 18, 2011 10:44 pm

NBA All-Star Walt Hazzard passes away

I remember him coming off the bench for the LAKERS and always giving them a spark. Very good 6th man. RIP

Since: Nov 18, 2011
Posted on: November 18, 2011 9:35 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 23, 2007
Posted on: November 18, 2011 9:12 pm

NBA All-Star Walt Hazzard passes away

One of the first guys I remember in basketball.
RIP, Walt Hazzard........... 

Since: Feb 10, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2011 8:49 pm

NBA All-Star Walt Hazzard passes away

I am sorry to hear about the passing of Walt Hazzard, my condolences to your friends and family. RIP Mr Walt Hazzard

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