Walt Hazzard Passes Away
Walt Hazzard, a long-time member of the Los Angeles Lakers organization, passed away earlier today. Hazzard, 69, died of natural causes at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
“Walt was a man of extremely high character, who served the Lakers for many years as a player, a scout and a consultant,” said Lakers Owner Dr. Jerry Buss. “Our sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time, and we feel fortunate that he was part of the Lakers family for so many years.”
“First and foremost, our condolences go out to the Hazzard family,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “Not only was Walt an outstanding player, but his knowledge of the game was extremely valuable to our front office as well over the past 17 years. In the years since his stroke, he has been an inspiration to many of us with his perseverance and his passion for the game.”
Hazzard was the Lakers’ 1st round draft choice in 1964 after leading the UCLA Bruins to a 30-0 record and the NCAA National Championship that spring. He played three seasons for the Lakers, before being selected by the expansion Seattle Supersonics prior to the 1967-68 season.
Hazzard re-joined the Lakers as a scout prior to the 1994-95 season. After suffering a stroke in 1996, he remained with the organization as a consultant for an additional 15 years.