Oct. 21, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Walt Hazzard, who as an All-American guard helped lead UCLA men's basketball to John Wooden's first NCAA Championship in 1964 and who later became head coach of the Bruins from 1984-88, has been honored by The 100 Black Men of Los Angeles, Inc. (100 BMLA) with their Lifetime Achievement Award.
Hazzard and honored dignitaries were highlighted at the 100 BMLA 30th Anniversary Reception and Gala on Oct. 21 at the J. W. Marriott Los Angeles at L. A. Live. Sharing the Lifetime Achievement Award with Hazzard is actress Marla Gibbs. Additional award recipients include - Man of the Year, Earvin "Magic" Johnson; Woman of the Year, Vice President Northrop Grumman Sandra Evers-Manly; Special Achievement Awards, Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl L. Osby and Fred A. Calloway and Corporate "Community Partner" Award, AEG Executive Vice President Kevin McDowell. KTLA Morning News' Chris Schauble will host the event and ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan will provide entertainment.
The 100 Black Men of Los Angeles, Inc. is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 civic and community based organization that serves as a catalyst for the disadvantaged and underrepresented segments of the community.
Its mission is to improve the quality of life for blacks and other minorities through the enhancement of educational and economic opportunities within the community. 100 BMLA provide support for and focuses on: mentoring, education, health and wellness and education programs emphasizing mentoring services, economic development, scholarship and sponsoring of flagship programs Young Black Scholars and the See Your Future Mentoring Program.
Walt Hazzard Biography
Hazzard, who was a standout athlete at Overbrook HS in Philadelphia, PA, has been associated with UCLA since 1961, enrolling as a 6-2 sophomore starting point guard on Coach Wooden's Bruin men's basketball team. That season he averaged 13.2ppg as UCLA advanced to the school's first-ever appearance in the 1962 NCAA Final Four. As a junior in 1962-63, he earned All-American honors, averaging a team-best 16.3ppg, leading UCLA to another NCAA bid.
As a senior co-captain in 1963-64 under the direction of Coach Wooden, Hazzard, along with starters; junior guard Gail Goodrich, senior center Fred Slaughter and forwards, junior Keith Erickson and senior Jack Hirsch; led UCLA to the school's first-ever NCAA Championship and 30-0 undefeated season. As the Bruins' point guard, Hazzard averaged 18.6ppg, was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament, earned College Basketball's Player of the Year and graduated as the school's all-time leading scorer (1,401 points).
Following his senior season, Hazzard was chosen as a member of the 1964 U. S. Olympic team and helped the U. S. win a Gold Medal in Tokyo, Japan.
A 1964 NBA first-round draft selection by the Los Angeles Lakers, during his 10-year professional basketball career he averaged 12.6ppg with Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, Buffalo and Golden State. Six times during those 10 seasons, he ranked among the NBA's top ten assists leaders. During his first three years (1964-67) with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Lakers twice advanced to the NBA Championship series.
Following the NBA, Hazzard continued his educational career while coaching in various community leagues. In 1980-81 he became head coach at Compton College and before the 1982-83 season was named head coach at Chapman College.
Following the conclusion of UCLA's 1983-84 season, Hazzard and his assistant coach Jack Hirsch were contacted about becoming assistants on Larry Farmer's UCLA staff. But when Farmer resigned his UCLA head coaching position on March 26, 1984, Bruin athletic director Pete Dalis named Hazzard UCLA's ninth head coach and Hirsch became a Bruin assistant.
During Hazzard's four-years (1984-88) as the Bruin head coach, he led UCLA to an overall record of 77-47. His highlight seasons included 1984-85, when UCLA won the school's first-ever National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and 1986-87, when senior captain Reggie Miller helped UCLA win the Pac-10, the first-ever Pac-10 Tournament and finished with a 25-7 overall mark and NCAA Tournament appearance. Hazzard was the conference Coach of the Year in 1986-87.
When Jim Harrick became the Bruins' head coach in 1988-89, Hazzard worked as primary West Coast advance NBA scout for the Los Angeles Lakers and has also served as a special consultant to the Lakers.
He also became involved with the Young Black Scholars, serving as Director of Development, raising funds and other support to help launch the program. Hazzard started his own non-profit for middle school students, the Los Angeles Sports Academy, focusing on students' love of sports to help improve academic performance in the core subjects of English, math and social studies.
Hazzard, who suffered a stroke in 1996, is a UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame charter member (1984). He had his UCLA Bruin jersey number 42 retired on Feb. 1, 1996, just the seventh Bruin men's basketball player in school history to have his jersey number retired. In 2004, Hazzard was inducted into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor.
He is currently recovering at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center from complications following heart surgery.
Hazzard is married to Jaleesa (Pat) Shepherd, a Bruin song girl during the 1964 UCLA NCAA Championship season and they have four children - Yakub, Jalal, Khalil and Rasheed.