SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – Paul Westphal, enshrined as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019, has passed away at the age of 70.
“As a member of the Phoenix Suns, Paul Westphal had as much impact on the organization as any individual in history,” said Jerry Colangelo, Basketball Hall of Fame Chairman and former owner of the Phoenix Suns. “A dynamic player, he was a smart as they come and led the team like a coach on the floor. He was a key player in the 1976 NBA Finals and received many honors for his outstanding play. As an assistant and then head coach, Paul was known as a ‘players’ coach’ who garnered respect and results, leading the Suns to the 1993 NBA Finals. Nonetheless, greater than all the basketball accolades is the man Paul Westphal was – a great father, husband and friend, who was respected by so many. He was truly honored by his 2019 Basketball Hall of Fame induction and I am honored to have known him for the past 45 years.”
Paul Westphal was a five-time NBA All-Star (1977-81), three-time All-NBA First Team member (1977, 1979, 1980) and NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics (1974). In his 12 NBA seasons, he averaged 15.6 points and 4.4 assists per game, including over 20 points per game for five consecutive seasons. A native of southern California, Westphal was a collegiate standout at USC, earning AP Second Team All-America (1971) and averaging over 20 points and 5 assists per game his senior year (1972). Westphal has been inducted in the USC Hall of Fame (1997), Pac-12 Hall of Honor (2008) and the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor (1998).
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo "Court of Dreams." Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum and events, visit www.hoophall.com, follow @hoophall or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.