Connie Hawkins (born July 17, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York) is a Hall of Fame National Basketball Association and American Basketball Association player and New York City playground legend, born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Hawkins was known as one of the first players capable of swooping, soaring flights to the hoop, followed by acrobatic, throw-down dunks.
Hawkins initially toured the world with the Harlem Globetrotters. Then at age 19, played for the Pittsburgh Rens of the ABL and was named the league's Most Valuable Player. Hawkins joined the Pittsburgh Pipers in the inaugural 1967-68 season of the American Basketball Association, leading the team to a 54-24 regular-season record and the ABA championship. That year, Hawkins led the ABA in scoring and won both the ABA's regular season and playoff MVP awards.
With Hawkins' star power secured in the ABA, combined with a lawsuit against the NBA as well as high-profile positive publicity, NBA Commissioner J. Walter Kennedy lifted the ban against Hawkins after settling his antitrust suit for more than $1 million. Hawkins then played 7 additional seasons in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and Atlanta Hawks. He played in four NBA All-Star Games and was named to the All-NBA First Team in the 1969-70 season. His #42 jersey was retired by the Suns.
Connie Hawkins was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. He currently works in community relations with the Suns.