Walt Hazzard

Last updated

Walt Hazzard
Walt Hazzard (UCLA).jpg
Personal information
Born(1942-04-15)April 15, 1942
Wilmington, Delaware [1]
DiedNovember 18, 2011(2011-11-18) (aged 69)
Los Angeles, California
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school Moton (Easton, Maryland)
Overbrook (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
College UCLA (1961–1964)
NBA draft 1964 / Round: Territorial pick
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Playing career1964–1974
Position Guard
Number42, 1, 44
Career history
As player:
19641967 Los Angeles Lakers
1967–1968 Seattle SuperSonics
19681971 Atlanta Hawks
19711972 Buffalo Braves
1972–1973 Golden State Warriors
1973–1974 Seattle SuperSonics
As coach:
1985–1988 UCLA
Career highlights and awards
As player
As coach
Career statistics
Points 9,087 (12.6 ppg)
Rebounds 2,146 (3.0 rpg)
Assists 3,555 (4.9 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Walter Raphael Hazzard Jr., later Mahdi Abdul-Rahman (April 15, 1942 – November 18, 2011) was an American college, Olympic and professional basketball player and college basketball coach. He was best known for his association with the men's basketball team at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), having been a star player for that team when it won its first national championship in 1964 and having served as the team's head coach in the 1980s.

College basketball Amateur Basketball consisting of current students of colleges or universities.

College basketball today is governed by collegiate athletic bodies including the United States's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Governing bodies in Canada include U Sports and the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). Each of these various organizations are subdivided into from one to three divisions based on the number and level of scholarships that may be provided to the athletes.

Olympic Games major international sport event

The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.

Professional person who is paid to undertake a specialized set of tasks and to complete them for a fee

A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with the particular knowledge and skills necessary to perform their specific role within that profession. In addition, most professionals are subject to strict codes of conduct, enshrining rigorous ethical and moral obligations. Professional standards of practice and ethics for a particular field are typically agreed upon and maintained through widely recognized professional associations, such as the IEEE. Some definitions of "professional" limit this term to those professions that serve some important aspect of public interest and the general good of society.

Contents

College career

Hazzard at UCLA (1964) Walt Hazzard 1964.jpg
Hazzard at UCLA (1964)

Hazzard attended Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, where his teams went 89-3 and he was named the city's player of the year when he was a senior. [1] Hazzard then went on to UCLA, where he became a key player on the varsity basketball team. In Hazzard's first season on the varsity squad, the UCLA Bruins made their first Final Four appearance in the 1962 NCAA Toournament. They lost 72-70 to Cincinnati, the eventual champion, in the semi-finals.

Overbrook High School (Philadelphia)

Overbrook High School is a public, four-year secondary school in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

1961–62 Cincinnati Bearcats mens basketball team

The 1961–62 Cincinnati Bearcats men's basketball team represented University of Cincinnati. For the second time in a row, Cincinnati defeated Ohio State for the National Title 71–59 before 18,469 at Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY. The head coach was Ed Jucker.

UCLA's first undefeated season of 1963–64 was in no small part due to Hazzard, his backcourt partner Gail Goodrich, and the team's coach John Wooden. The team won its first NCAA Championship, and Hazzard was selected by the Associated Press as the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Following UCLA's victory in the 1964 tournament, Sports Illustrated featured a cover photograph of Walt Hazzard dribbling the basketball up court and the headline, "UCLA Is The Champ. Walt Hazzard Drives Through Duke." Hazzard was chosen as an All-American and also selected as College Player of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). His number 42 jersey was retired by UCLA in 1996 in Pauley Pavilion, but Hazzard gave his permission for stand-out recruit Kevin Love to wear the number.

Gail Goodrich American basketball player

Gail Charles Goodrich Jr. is an American retired professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is best known for scoring a then record 42 points for UCLA in the 1965 NCAA championship game vs. Michigan, and his part in the Los Angeles Lakers' 1971–72 season. During that season the team won a still-record 33 consecutive games, posted what was at the time the best regular season record in NBA history, and also won the franchise's first NBA championship since relocating to Los Angeles. Goodrich was the leading scorer on that team. He is also acclaimed for leading UCLA to its first two national championships under the legendary coach John Wooden, the first in 1963–64 being a perfect 30-0 season when he played with teammate Walt Hazzard. In 1996, 17 years after his retirement from professional basketball, Goodrich was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

John Wooden American basketball coach

John Robert Wooden was an American basketball player and head coach at the University of California, Los Angeles. Nicknamed the "Wizard of Westwood," he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period as head coach at UCLA, including a record seven in a row. No other team has won more than four in a row in Division 1 college men's or women's basketball. Within this period, his teams won an NCAA men's basketball record 88 consecutive games. Wooden won the prestigious Henry Iba Award as national coach of the year a record seven times and won the AP award five times. He also won a Helms national championship at Purdue as a player 1931–1932 for a total of 10 NCAA Titles and 1 Helms Championships

Associated Press American multinational nonprofit news agency

The Associated Press (AP) is a U.S.-based not-for-profit news agency headquartered in New York City. Founded in 1846, it operates as a cooperative, unincorporated association. Its members are U.S. newspapers and broadcasters. Its Statement of News Values and Principles spells out its standards and practices.

Hazzard and Bill Bradley earned a spot on the 1964 Olympic basketball team for the U.S., which unsurprisingly won the gold medal. He was pre-draft territorial pick in 1964 by the Los Angeles Lakers. [1]

Bill Bradley American politician

William Warren Bradley is an American politician and former professional basketball player. He served three terms as a Democratic U.S. Senator from New Jersey. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party's nomination for president in the 2000 election.

Basketball at the 1964 Summer Olympics

Basketball contests at the 1964 Summer Olympics took place at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan from October 11 to October 23. The United States defeated the Soviet Union to win their sixth straight gold medal at this event, while Brazil earned the bronze against Puerto Rico.

Los Angeles Lakers American professional basketball team

The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Western Conference in the Pacific Division. The Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, an arena shared with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association, and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, and have won 16 NBA championships, the second-most behind the Boston Celtics.

NBA career

Hazzard later played in the NBA, first with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1964–1967, then the Seattle SuperSonics, the Atlanta Hawks, the Buffalo Braves, and briefly for the Golden State Warriors. He returned to the SuperSonics for the 1973–74 season, after which he retired from professional basketball.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a men's professional basketball league in North America; composed of 30 teams. It is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world. The NBA is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player.

Seattle SuperSonics Professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington, USA 1967–2008

The Seattle SuperSonics, commonly known as the Sonics, were an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington. The SuperSonics played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Western Conference Pacific and Northwest divisions from 1967 until 2008. After the 2007–08 season ended, the team relocated to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and now plays as the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Atlanta Hawks American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia

The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Hawks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The team plays its home games at State Farm Arena.

While playing for the SuperSonics in their inaugural 1967–68 season, Hazzard scored a career high 24.0 points per game, averaged 6.2 assists per game, and was selected to play in the 1968 NBA All-Star Game. [2] Seattle traded him to the Hawks during the off-season for Lenny Wilkens. [3] Hazzard's career high average in assists came during the 1969–70 season, when he averaged 6.8 assist per game while playing for the Hawks.

The 1967–68 NBA season was the 22nd season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Boston Celtics winning the NBA Championship, beating the Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.

Assist (basketball)

In basketball, an assist is attributed to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads to a score by field goal, meaning that he or she was "assisting" in the basket. There is some judgment involved in deciding whether a passer should be credited with an assist. An assist can be scored for the passer even if the player who receives the pass makes a basket after dribbling the ball. However, the original definition of an assist did not include such situations, so the comparison of assist statistics across eras is a complex matter.

The 1968 NBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game which was played at Madison Square Garden in New York City, January 23, 1968.

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage 3P%  3-point field goal percentage FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game APG  Assists per game SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high

Regular season

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
1964–65 Los Angeles 66-13.9.382-.6481.72.1--4.2
1965–66 Los Angeles 80-27.5.457-.7082.74.9--13.7
1966–67 Los Angeles 79-20.8.426-.7292.94.1--9.3
1967–68 Seattle 79-33.7.441-.7744.26.2--24.0
1968–69 Atlanta 80-30.3.397-.7073.35.9--11.2
1969–70 Atlanta 82-33.6.467-.8094.06.8--15.3
1970–71 Atlanta 82-35.1.459-.7593.76.3--16.5
1971–72 Buffalo 72-33.2.451-.7823.05.6--15.8
1972–73 Buffalo 9-14.9.417-.5001.11.9--5.9
1972–73 Golden State 46-13.7.418-.8631.72.4--4.5
1973–74 Seattle 49-11.7.422-.7561.22.5.5.13.8
Career724-26.5.441-.7573.04.9.5.112.6

Playoffs

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
1965–66 Los Angeles 7-16.9.333-.7502.64.3--7.6
1966–67 Los Angeles 14-24.3.493-.6192.93.1--11.9
1967–68 Los Angeles 3-28.7.240-.8002.75.3--6.7
1969–70 Atlanta 11-32.7.393-.7873.03.9--14.0
1970–71 Atlanta 7-36.4.500-.6253.47.7--21.4
1971–72 Atlanta 5-40.4.329-.8005.05.4--14.0
1973–74 Golden State 11-19.5.357-1.0001.82.5--6.5
Career58-27.2.413-.7382.94.2--11.8

Coaching career

In 1984, he returned to UCLA as its men's basketball coach, twenty years after winning the national championship as a player. That same year, he was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame. [4] He coached for four seasons, winning 77 out of 125 games. The 1984–1985 UCLA Bruin basketball team won the NIT championship. The 1986–1987 UCLA Bruin basketball team won both the Pac-10 regular season championship as well as the inaugural Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament. However, after the 1987-88 Bruins finished only two games above .500 — the closest they had come to a losing record in 40 years — Hazzard was fired.

He later spent a number of years working for the Los Angeles Lakers, first as an advance scout on the west coast and later as a special consultant.

Head coaching record

SeasonTeamOverallConferenceStandingPostseason
UCLA Bruins (Pacific-10 Conference)(1984–1988)
1984–85 UCLA 21–1212–63rd NIT Champion
1985–86 UCLA 15–149–94th NIT First Round
1986–87 UCLA 25–714–41st NCAA Division I Second Round
1987–88 UCLA 16–1412–62nd
UCLA:77–4747–25
Total:77–47

      National champion        Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion        Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion      Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Personal life and death

During his professional basketball career, Hazzard converted to Islam and changed his name to Mahdi Abdul-Rahman. However, he felt that the name change was poorly received in basketball circles, believing that it cost him opportunities, both during and after his playing career. Therefore, although he remained devout in his Muslim faith, he chose to return to using the name Walt Hazzard professionally. [5]

Hazzard and his wife Jaleesa had four children: Yakub, Jalal, Rasheed, and Khalil, the last being a record producer, well known in hip-hop circles by the stage name DJ Khalil. His grandsons, Jacob and Max Hazzard, Jacob is a former walk-on basketball player at Arizona, Max plays basketball for Arizona.

On March 22, 1996, Hazzard was hospitalized following a stroke. [6] Although he made a substantial recovery over the ensuing years, his health never returned in full and subsequent to his illness he was much less active in the public sphere. Shortly after the stroke, Lakers owner Jerry Buss promised Hazzard's family that he would remain on the team's payroll as long as Buss owned the team; Hazzard remained a Lakers employee for the rest of his life. [7] By the middle of 2011, his health had deteriorated significantly and he was hospitalized in intensive care. [8] On November 18 of that year, Hazzard died at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center due to complications following heart surgery. [9] He was 69. Walt Hazzard is interred at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Foster, Chris (November 19, 2011), "Walt Hazzard dies at 69; former Bruins basketball star and coach", The Los Angeles Times
  2. "Walt Hazzard, Former Star and Coach for U.C.L.A., Dies at 69", The New York Times , November 18, 2011
  3. Andrieson, David (October 13, 2007), "Sonics ushered Seattle into the big time 40 years ago Saturday", The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  4. UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame
  5. The March Of The Wooden Soldiers
  6. Ex-Bruins coach Hazzard is stable following stroke. Los Angeles Daily News, March 23, 1996.
  7. Shelburne, Ramona (February 19, 2013). "Jerry Buss: A true sports visionary". ESPNLosAngeles.com . Retrieved February 21, 2013.