John R. Wooden Award Co-National Chairman Tommy Hawkins Has Passed Away

John R. Wooden Award Co-National Chairman Tommy Hawkins Has Passed Away

John R. Wooden Award® Co-National Chairman

Tommy Hawkins Has Passed Away

Former Notre Dame, Lakers star served Wooden Award since its inception in 1976


LOS ANGELES, CA (August 16, 2017) – Tommy Hawkins, Wooden Award Co-National Chairman, passed away today in Malibu, California.  He was 80 years old.

For over 30 years, Hawkins served as the master of ceremonies for the John R. Wooden Award presentation at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. In 2011, he passed on the torch of his emcee duties and was named Co-National Chairman of the Award. "Tommy has played an integral part of the success of the Wooden Award for the past 30 years.  His leadership, vision and commitment both to the Los Angeles Athletic Club and the Wooden Award will truly be missed.  He was a true friend," says Steve Hathaway, Los Angeles Athletic Club General Manager.

Named to Notre Dame’s All-Century Men’s Basketball team in 2004 and Ring of Honor in 2015, Hawkins led the Irish to 44-13 record over his last two seasons, including an Elite Eight appearance in 1958. A two-time All-American, he finished his collegiate career as Notre Dame’s leading scorer and rebounder. He is currently ranked 9th in scoring and his rebounding total is the longest standing record in Notre Dame basketball history. 

Following his collegiate career, Hawkins was drafted with the third pick of the first round by the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1959 NBA draft. He played ten seasons in the NBA for Minneapolis, Cincinnati Royals and Los Angeles Lakers. After his playing career concluded, he moved into broadcasting for KNBC-TV and KABC radio in Los Angeles and later became the vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2016.

Hawkins is survived by his five children and his wife, Layla. Please check on the Wooden Award website for more information regarding services and memorial recognition in lieu of flowers. And please respect the privacy of the family at this time.

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  • Rob Yardley
    commented 2017-08-17 23:54:29 -0700
    Mr. Hawkins was a wonderful man. Thank you for the updates.