Former Denver Rockets Player Julian Hammond's Final Ride

by Christopher Dempsey
Nuggets Insider

Now, mornings can start a little later.

Julian Hammond smiles at the prospect of a little extra sleep. It’s just one of the perks of retirement, of a life where hustle-and-bustle now slows down to the dreamy rhythms of small waves gently rolling into shore.

Hammond is there.

“It’ll be good vacation time,” Hammond said.

Hammond had worked security at the Pepsi Center for 14 years after spending 31 years for Mountain Bell, which became US West, and then Qwest. Security kept Hammond around basketball, which kept him grinning on the inside because he was a professional basketball player in Denver himself.

He played for the Denver Rockets in the ABA from 1967-72, averaging 10.8 points per game on 51 percent shooting from the field. Basketball will always be near and dear to his heart.

But, as quiet as it was kept, so was putting a smile on people’s faces. Hammond relished the daily opportunity to add some sunshine to someone’s day.

He loved, “just being around people,” he said. “The people that came in every morning, I liked them.”

And Hammond never missed a chance to hand out a warm greeting.

“Just saying good morning to people as they came into work in the mornings,” Hammond said. “Sometimes that can mean a whole lot to people. They may be about to have a bad day, and you can stop by saying ‘good morning’, ‘how are you this morning,’ …. Just little things like that. I think it kind of made people’s day. And I was happy for that.”

Hammond sparkled in his security uniform. Retirement will fit him even better.