Dec. 20, 2004
The University of Notre Dame official athletics site, www.und.com , continues its tribute today to the school's celebration of 100 Seasons of Basketball. Spanning the entirety of the college basketball season, www.und.com, will update this section of the site every weekday 100 times in an effort to highlight Notre Dame's 100th Basketball Season in 2004-05.
The updates will change between trivia questions, quick bios from Notre Dame's all-century team, various "On this date in Notre Dame Basketball" elements and more.
Also available this season is the book 100 Seasons of Basketball, produced by the University of Notre Dame Sports Information Office and Notre Dame Sports Properties. The book is available exclusively through the Notre Dame Bookstore (call 800-647-4641 or to go www.ndcatalog.com).
#26 (Monday, Dec. 20, 2004)
Tommy Hawkins was one of the first 25 black students to attend Parker High School in Chicago, Ill., and, as part of coach John Jordan's link to the talent in the Chicago area, found his way to Notre Dame from 1956-59. He was the only black member on the Notre Dame team and in his entire graduating class at the University.
"If being black was a problem to other people, it was their problem," Hawkins said.
"I had an education to get, I had basketball to play and I enjoyed myself. I enjoyed the city of South Bend and I became a two-year All-American there."
Involuntarily put in the spotlight on a number of situations in his career, Hawkins is always remembered for stepping up to the occasion. He established himself quickly both on and off the court as a teammate that the Irish players could rely upon.
Hawkins played on the win in Jordan's 1-3-1 offense, turning a 9-15 season (the year before Hawkins' eligibility) into a 44-13 team over the last two years (which included a spot in the NCAA Elite Eight in 1947-58). He finished as a two-time All-American at Notre Dame and the school's leading scorer and rebounder (he is currently ranked seventh in scoring and is still first in rebounds).
Following a 10-year career in the NBA, Hawkins moved into broadcasting for KNBC-TV and KABC radio in Los Angeles. In 1987, he was named vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers and remains active in the Dodgers organization.
Former University president Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., once said of Hawkins: "Tommy Hawkins was always a guy that I felt could uphold, quote as an example and be proud of as he got out of here and got into professional life."
Also - on this date in Notre Dame Basketball history -
Dec. 20, 1952 - Notre Dame improves to two for two against John Wooden, this time defeating his new team, #12 UCLA, in the Michigan State Classic 68-60. Junior Dick Rosenthal scores 20 points for the Irish.
#27 (Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2004)
Father Figure - John Smyth