Life is filled with ironies. Last week, I talked to legendary basketball star Cazzie Russell about a story I was doing on his alma mater, Carver High School, the subject of the Sun-Times' School of the Week series on Feb. 4. And I wrote a column on his former coach, Larry Hawkins, for the current issue of Scott Powers' Ill. Hoops newsletter.
Now Hawkins is gone. He died on Jan. 30. He was 77. I knew he was ill. He looked very frail when I last saw him in December at the Institute for Athletics and Education's annual awards banquet at the University of Chicago. But Larry always a very private person. He never talked about himself.
As basketball coach at Carver from 1959 to 1977, he produced one state runnerup (1962) and one state champion (1963) and developed many outstanding players such as Russell, Darius "Pete" Cunningham, Joe Allen, Gerry Jones and Ken Maxey.