UCLA player and coach Walt Hazzard dies

Nov. 18, 2011 at 9:48 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Basketball star Walt Hazzard, who played and coached at UCLA and became both an NCAA and Olympic champion, died Friday. He was 69.

Hazzard's family released a statement through the UCLA Web site that said he "had been recuperating for a long period due to complications following heart surgery."

"This is a sad day for the UCLA basketball family," said Dan Guerrero, the school's athletic director.

"Walt was the catalyst for Coach John Wooden's first championship team and played the game with a style that excited Bruin basketball fans everywhere. He contributed to his alma mater in numerous ways, including as a student-athlete, coach and honored alum, and he will be greatly missed by all of us who knew him."

Hazzard was co-captain of the first UCLA national championship team in 1964. He coached the Bruins for four years in the 1980s following a career in the NBA.

"He is a huge part of the Bruin legacy," current UCLA Coach Ben Howland said. "He left lifelong memories for the Bruin faithful."

Hazzard left UCLA as the school's all-time scoring leader with 1,401 points. That figure now ranks eighth on the all-time list. He is one of seven players at UCLA to have had his jersey number retired.

He played 724 NBA games during a 10-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle, Atlanta, Buffalo and Golden State.

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