Tribute for Tommy Hawkins



Tribute for Tommy Hawkins

Today August 16, 2017, a great one - Tommy Hawkins - enters the gates of Heaven.  

Tommy was our co-chairman of the John R. Wooden Award. This is a role he treasured since the torch was passed to him when our previous national chairman Duke Llewellyn passed away. The Hawk was the senior sage of our determination to recognize the best overall collegiate basketball player in the United States.  

He represented all that is good in the game of basketball. As a former collegiate & professional player, a broadcaster and a visionary on leadership, Tommy brought a special gravitas to everything he touched. His wisdom and love for the players and their coaches was evident in each meeting and presentation he would have in his relationship with the Wooden Award since 1976. Tommy was instrumental in our progress to the goodness of the women's and men's game of basketball.  

At the Los Angeles Athletic Club one night, one of our Wooden Award Ambassadors asked Mr. Hawkins how he would want to be remembered. Tommy stated: "I want people to remember me as a cosmic functionary operating within the universe without consideration of race, color or social circumstances."   

Tommy, we will remember you exactly as you wished. But we will include your love of your family and friends, Notre Dame, The Lakers, The Dodgers, the Los Angeles Athletic Club & Wooden Award and the City of  Los Angeles as places you made better because of your passion and presence.  

It has been my honor to have known Tommy since I was a young boy. To serve with him and learn from him, has been a privilege and a blessing. On behalf of the Wooden Award steering committee, Thank you Tommy. You were truly the greatest soaring Hawk we have ever known!

With great love,

Sam Laganà


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  • commented 2017-08-17 11:12:04 -0700
    Layla and family:

    My condolences.

    I am deeply saddened by Tommy’s passing.

    I have been involved with the Wooden Award since its inception and have had the privilege to become a friend of Tommy’s. He was so much more than just basketball (yes, I know he still holds the record at Notre Dame for rebounds which he accomplished in 3 years). He was a True Gentleman, an aficionado of jazz, a pioneer in the civil rights movement, a man of Faith & God, a loving husband & father, a friend to all, and so much more. He was a common man but had the uncommon ability to share the best of life in his stories and poetry. I have been honored to be able to call him my friend for over 30 years and will forever cherish the memories of out friendship.

    Stewart Hsieh

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