NBA Basketball

Former Laker, Notre Dame star Hawkins dies

(Photo by Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- Former NBA player Tommy Hawkins, who was also a college star at Notre Dame, has died. He was 80.

Hawkins, a forward for the Los Angeles Lakers and Cincinnati Royals, died in Malibu, Calif., on Wednesday, according to family members. No cause of death was revealed.

Hawkins became an award-winning broadcaster after his NBA career ended in 1969, and later served as vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1987-2004.

Hawkins was the first black basketball All-American at Notre Dame and his 1,318 career rebounds at the school still stand as a school record.

He was selected third overall in the 1959 NBA draft by the Minneapolis Lakers. After one season, the team moved to Los Angeles and Hawkins had two stints with the franchise in that city -- two seasons from 1960-62 and three from 1966-69. He played for Cincinnati from 1962-66.

Hawkins averaged a career-high 11.6 points for the Lakers in 1967-68. He had career averages of 8.7 points and 6.0 rebounds.

"He was and will always be part of the Lakers family," team CEO and majority owner Jeanie Buss said in a statement. "His baritone voice and easy demeanor made him a favorite of the fans and media, as well as everyone who had the honor of calling him a friend."

Notre Dame inducted Hawkins into its ring of honor in 2015. He scored 1,820 career points.

"I feel blessed and privileged that I got to develop a relationship with him as the head coach at Notre Dame," Fighting Irish head coach Mike Brey said in a statement. "Tom was a trailblazer, a class act and a true Notre Dame man."

Updated August 17, 2017

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