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Former Lakers forward Tommy Hawkins dies

Boston Lakers Basketball

Tom Hawkins of the Los Angeles Lakers lays a shot up over outstretched arm of Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics in the fourth period of their National Basketball Association game at Boston Garden April 22, 1968. Boston won 107 to 101 to lead series 1-0. (AP Photo)


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Tommy Hawkins, the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame and who played for the Los Angeles Lakers during a 10-year NBA career, has died. He was 80.

Hawkins died Wednesday in Malibu, according to the Los Angeles Dodgers, for whom he once worked as director of communications.

He graduated from Notre Dame in 1959. Hawkins was inducted into the school’s Ring of Honor and his 1,318 career rebounds remain the oldest record on the books in Fighting Irish basketball history.

Hawkins was selected by the Minneapolis Lakers in the first round of the 1959 NBA draft. He played for them as well as the Cincinnati Royals, and notched 6,672 career points and 4,607 rebounds.