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UCLA, Lakers standout Walt Hazzard dies

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Former UCLA standout and Lakers guard Walt Hazzard died Friday from complications following heart surgery. He was 69.

Hazzard, who was part of UCLA’s first NCAA championship team in 1964 under Coach John Wooden, is considered one of the best point guards in the Bruins’ history. He averaged 18.6 points a game as senior, leading the Bruins to a 30-0 record and the national title.

Hazzard was selected college basketball’s player of the year in 1964, averaging 19.8 points a game in the postseason.

Photos: Walt Hazzard | 1942-2011

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“Walt was one of the pillars of UCLA’s first championship team in men’s basketball,” current UCLA Coach Ben Howland said. “He was a great player and an outstanding coach at UCLA. He is a huge part of the Bruin legacy, and he left life-long memories for the Bruin faithful.”

Hazzard went on to help the U.S. win a gold medal at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo before being selected first overall in the NBA draft that year by the Lakers. He played 10 years in the NBA, averaging 12.6 points and 4.9 assists during his career.

After retiring he returned to UCLA and coached the men’s basketball team for four seasons, posting a 77-74 record. He was replaced by Jim Harrick for the 1988-89 season.

Hazzard, who had his jersey retired by the Bruins in 1996, also suffered a stroke that same year.

‘This is a sad day for the UCLA basketball family,’ Bruins Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said.

We’ll have more on Hazzard’s passing soon at latimes.com/sports.

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Photos: Walt Hazzard through the years

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-- Austin Knoblauch


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