Top three traits: Coachable, shooting ability, and resilient
Walter Raphael “Walt” Hazzard Jr. was an American professional basketball player and college basketball coach. He played in college for the UCLA Bruins and was a member of their first national championship team in 1964. He also won a gold medal that year with the US national team at the 1964 Summer Olympics.
Hazzard was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 1964 NBA draft. He played for the Lakers for three seasons, then played for the Seattle SuperSonics, Atlanta Hawks, Buffalo Braves, and Golden State Warriors. He retired from professional basketball in 1974.
In 1984, Hazzard returned to UCLA as its men’s basketball coach. He coached for four seasons, winning 77 out of 125 games. The 1984–85 UCLA Bruins basketball team won the NIT championship. The 1986–87 Bruins won both the Pac-10 regular season championship as well as the inaugural Pac-10 tournament. However, after the 1987–88 Bruins finished only two games above .500—the closest they had come to a losing record in 40 years—Hazzard was relieved of his duties as the head coach.
Walt Hazzard’s accomplishments, awards, and achievements
NBA All-Star: 1968
Led the Milwaukee Bucks to the 1971 NBA championship
Led the Seattle SuperSonics to the 1974 Western Conference Finals
Scored 15,040 points in his NBA career
Averaged 14.4 points per game in his NBA career
Played in 10 NBA seasons
Important Achievements and Accomplishments:
Key contributor to the NCAA national championship team: 1964
Two-time All-Pac-12 member: 1963, 1964
NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player: 1964
Introduced to the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame: 1984
Career Stats while Playing at UCLA
Point per game:16.1
Field Goal %: 43.2
Free Throw %: 70.6
Rebounds per game: 5.5
Hazzard was a skilled and versatile player who could score, pass, and defend. He was also a good leader and a respected teammate. He was a key contributor to UCLA’s first national championship team and he also had a successful coaching career at UCLA. Hazzard was a talented and accomplished basketball player and coach who left a lasting legacy on the game.