Former Suns, ABA great Connie Hawkins dies at 75 years old

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Connie Hawkins made his mark with the Harlem Globetrotters before playing in the ABA and NBA. Getty Images

Connie Hawkins, an ABA/NBA legend for not only what he did on the Suns, but also for playing for the Harlem Globetrotters, died Friday at age 75. His length and athleticism was remarkable for the era he played in and truly made him a player before his time.

Hawkins spent the majority of his professional career on the Suns and transitioned from the ABA into the NBA. He also spent time with the Pipers, Lakers and Hawks.

The Suns put out a statement on Hawkins' passing, remembering what he did for the franchise and thanking him for putting Phoenix on the basketball map:

"'The Hawk' revolutionized the game and remains to this day an icon of the sport and one of basketball's great innovators. 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.

A flip of the coin changed the Suns' fortunes and he helped out Phoenix on the map as the city's first professional sports superstar. Rightfully, he became the first Suns player inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and his No. 42 hangs in the rafters at Talking Stick Resort Arena as part of our Ring of Honor.

Connie's passion for the game was only matched by his desire to give back to the Phoenix community, a role which he played proudly as a Suns community ambassador, spreading warmth and kindness to everyone he encountered. We will miss Hawk dearly. 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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