Mt. Vernon Register-News


November 23, 2011

The View From Here: Hawthorne named to Saluki Hall

MT. VERNON — Native son, the late Nate Hawthorne, has been inducted into the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Saluki Hall of Fame.

As you may know, Hawthorne was inducted into the Mt. Vernon High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 as part of the Hall’s second class.

John “Mouse” Garrett of Centralia was also inducted. Both Hawthorne and Garrett were members of the Salukis’ 1971 team that were conference champions.

Hawthorne scored 1,001 points in his Saluki career (1970-73), while averaging seven rebounds per game.

Hawthorne was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the seventh round (118th) in April 1973. In May 1974, Hawthorne was selected by the New Orleans Jazz from the Lakers in the NBA expansion draft.

In Sept. 1974, Hawthorne was traded in a multiple-player deal to the Phoenix Suns. Hawthorne’s career effectively ended in October of 1976 when he was waived by Phoenix.

Hawthorne played 33 games for the Lakers in the 73-74 season, averaging 3.2 points per game. In 1974-75, Hawthorne averaged 5.9 points per game in 50 games for Phoenix. The numbers jumped in the 1975-76 season, 6.1 points per game over 79 games.

Hawthorne died of a massive heart attack at his home in Tempe, Ariz. in 2005.

Of the nine Saluki players who played in the NBA, Hawthorne was the only one not already in the Hall of Fame.


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