ProHoopsHistory HOF: Connie Hawkins

Pro Hoops History

Connie Hawkins

Connie Hawkins endured one of the greatest wrongs ever set upon a basketball player. The NCAA, NBA, and New York City’s justice system ran Hawkins through the mud, sullied his reputation, and did their damnedest to ruin his basketball career in the early 1960s. It was all a part of a sanctimonious effort to purge Jack Molinas, fixed games, and gambling from basketball, but Hawkins was merely an innocent fish caught up in the drag net.

This fish was saved by Pittsburgh, though.

In 1961, Harlem Globetrotters owner Abe Sapperstein created the American Basketball League (ABL), and thus the Pittsburgh Rens were formed as a member of the new circuit. Hawkins would clearly be the dominant player in the ABL. In the 1961-62 season, Hawkins led the ABL in scoring with 27 points a game and was named MVP. The league, never on sound financial footing, folded midway through…

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