Suns great Connie Hawkins dies at 75

Former Suns forward Connie Hawkins has died at the age of 75, his family confirmed to 12 News' Bruce Cooper Friday night.

The Phoenix Suns released a statement Saturday morning saying they will miss Phoenix's "first professional sports superstar" who, the team says, helped put Phoenix on the map.

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

Hawkins played for the Suns from 1969-1973, averaging 20.5 points, 9 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game for Phoenix.

The four-time NBA all-star is in the Suns Ring of Honor and his number, 42, is retired by the franchise.

Hawkins made his way to the Suns from the ABA after spending early years of his career in the American Basketball League and playing for the Harlem Globetrotters.

In his NBA career, he averaged 16.5 points, but when he played in the ABA, he was a top scorer, averaging more than 28 points per game and earning MVP and playoff MVP honors for the 1967-68 season when he played for the Pittsburgh Pipers.

In the statement, the Phoenix Suns took time to recognize Hawkins's desire to give back to the Phoenix community as a Suns community ambassador. 

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