Funeral arrangements have been announced for former Atlanta Hawks center and Hall of Famer Walt Bellamy, who died on Saturday in Atlanta. He was 74 years old.
The viewing for Bellamy will be held on Saturday at either 10 or 11 a.m. at Shaw Temple AME Zion Church in Smyrna, according to a release from the Atlanta Hawks. The church is located at 775 Hurt Rd. SW, Smyrna, GA 30082. For more information on the church visit http://www.shawtemple.org/
Bellamy was known as a pillar of the Atlanta community since he was traded to the Hawks by the Detroit Pistons in 1970.
The team reported the 74-year-old Bellamy was at the team’s home opener on Friday night.
Bellamy was active in supporting community events, particularly when it came to area youth. He made a guest appearance in August to support the newly-established Georgia Prep Sports Academy, a post-secondary institution that assists student-athletes in bringing up their GPAs and test scores in order to obtain scholarships.
After his retirement from professional basketball, Bellamy became active with the NAACP, the Urban League and the YMCA in the Atlanta area. He also was an ongoing member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
“The Atlanta Hawks family is saddened to learn of the death of Walt Bellamy at the age of 74 earlier today,” the Hawks said in a statement. “The Hawks and the National Basketball Association have lost a giant. As an Olympic gold medalist, the first overall pick in 1961, Rookie of the Year in 1962, a four-time All-Star and a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, his on-court accomplishments were overwhelming. Off the court, he was equally impactful as a family man, leader in the community, mentor and friend to many.”
In his 14 seasons in the NBA, the 6-foot-11 center averaged 20.1 points and 13.7 rebounds and while going up against the likes of Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.