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Community reacts to Hawkins’ death, remember the Suns ‘great hero’

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1999, file photo, former basketball players Connie Hawkins, left, and Bill Russell greet each other upon arrival at the the memorial service for basketball great Wilt Chamberlain, in Los Angeles. Basketball great Connie Hawkins has died at 75. The Hall of Famer's death was announced in a statement Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, by the Phoenix Suns, the team with which he spent his most productive NBA seasons. The Suns told The Associated Press they confirmed the death with his family. The 6-foot-8 Hawkins was a dazzling playground legend in New York City who rose to basketball's heights. The Suns lauded his "unique combination of size, grace and athleticism." (AP Photo/ Reed Saxon, Pool, File)

The Valley was hit with some tough news Saturday morning.

Phoenix Suns great Connie Hawkins passed away Friday night at the age of 75.

Hawkins is regarded as the Suns’ first superstar and is one of 15 people in the team’s Ring of Honor. He is also a Basketball Hall of Famer, and according to the Suns, he “helped put Phoenix on the map.”

The Suns are beginning their 50th season of existence, and thus are celebrating great members from the franchise from each of the team’s five decades.

Against the Orlando Magic on Nov. 10, the Suns had already planned to give out Connie Hawkins bobbleheads for its 1960s-70s Decade Night.

The Phoenix community, and the world for that matter, reacted with remembrance and praise to the death of one of the best players in the NBA’s early history.

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