Posted Nov 2, 2013 6:00 PM - Updated Nov 3, 2013 1:07 AM
ATLANTA (AP) -- Walt Bellamy, the Hall of Fame center who averaged 20.1 points and 13.7 rebounds in 14 seasons in the NBA, died Saturday. He was 74.
The Atlanta Hawks confirmed the death, but didn't provide details. The Hawks said Bellamy attended the team's home opener Friday night.
"The Atlanta Hawks family is saddened to learn of the death of Walt Bellamy at the age of 74 earlier today," the Hawks said in a statement. "The Hawks and the National Basketball Association have lost a giant. As an Olympic gold medalist, the first overall pick in 1961, Rookie of the Year in 1962, a four-time All-Star and a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, his on-court accomplishments were overwhelming. Off the court, he was equally impactful as a family man, leader in the community, mentor and friend to many."
The former Indiana University star also played for the Baltimore Bullets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and New Orleans Jazz.
"Walt Bellamy was an enormously gifted Hall of Fame player who had a tremendous impact on our game," said NBA Commissioner David Stern. "Off the court, he was an even more extraordinary person. Walt is going to be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. On behalf of the entire NBA family, our condolences and thoughts go out to Walt's family."
In three seasons at Indiana, the 6-foot-11 former New Bern, N.C., high school star averaged 20.6 points and 15.5 rebounds.
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