Connie Hawkins has sad but redemptive story: he grew up in New York then chose Iowa for college. His name was dragged into one of the 1960’s point shaving scandals but he had nothing to do with it. Nonetheless, he was banned from the NBA and spent several years with the Harlem Globetrotters.
When the ABA started up, he hooked on with the Pittsburgh Pipers and quickly proved to be a phenomenal talent. He was years ahead of Dr. J., David Thompson and other guys who we associate with the ABA’s air show.
He didn’t get to the NBA until he was 27 and coming off an injury. Nonetheless, he could do things that were spectacular as you’ll see in this video. Look at how much control he has over the ball. It’s really amazing. Guys like Erving and Michael Jordan, who had great verticals and huge hands, could do these things. But not many people could do them when Hawkins did. He was an absolute trailblazer.