1968 Pittsburgh Pipers—Celebrated, Appreciated during May 4-5 reunion

MEMBERS OF THE 1968 WORLD CHAMPION PITTSBURGH PIPERS. Also pictured are former Pitt star Billy Knight, center in back, and Mark Whited, center in front. Whited is the author of the book, “Pittsburgh’s Forgotten Champions.” The Pipers’ 50-year reunion was held, May 4-5, in Pittsburgh. (Photos by J.L. Martello)

Let’s go back to the future one last time and begin this story as one most often does, at the end. It’s very important that we recognize and acknowledge all those who helped make one of Pittsburgh’s most historic and memorable events a major success.

In no particular order, here are the names of those who “Flew With the Hawk” one last time. And trust me—they all know what they did and how valuable they were.
Mark Cuban Foundation, The Pittsburgh Penguins, Major Mark Whited, Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald, The New Pittsburgh Courier, Councilman R. Daniel LaVelle, UPMC, Highmark, Pittsburgh Housing Authority, Mr. Sam Schizco, Atty. Vince Lackner, the Marriott hotel, Billy Knight, Roland Ford, Darelle Porter, The Sensation Models, Ms. Rita Gregory, Ms. Kathy Junes, the staff and personalities of Urban Media Radio, Barron Flencay, the staff at East Liberty Staples, The Western PA School for the Deaf, 93.7 The Fan, Paul Zeise, Joe Starkey, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, The Highland Park Tennis Association, Gannon University, Pittsburgh Piper Cal Graham, Savoy Restaurant, Gary White, state Representatives Austin Davis and Ed Gainey, Shawn Hawkins, Kowenia Hawkins, Chuck Sanders Charities, and last but not least, the legendary Pittsburgh Pipers and the Connie Hawkins Summer Basketball League Family and Hall of Famers.

As you can clearly see it truly does take a village. Without the help, support and participation of all these people and companies we would never have been able to reunite the 1968 ABA World Champion Pittsburgh Pipers, salute the legendary Connie Hawkins and induct some of the nation’s greatest basketball players into the Connie Hawkins Hall of Fame.
If you still reside under that rock you call home and haven’t heard by now—the May 5 event at the Marriott City Center was a major success. More than 300 people, a sold-out crowd and a great time had by all. This was definitely one of the greatest events in Pittsburgh sports history.
In closing…you knew it was coming, and I’ll make it short and sweet…and hope it cuts deep. For all of you that OWED it to come out in memory of the great Connie Hawkins…who did not for all your petty and selfish reasons—shame on you! Now somebody run and tell that, they know who they are!!
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