It is certainly a big weekend for Atlanta sports, but please join me in remembering one of Atlanta’s greatest athletes.
Today, January 12, 2013, is the 53rd birthday of NBA Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins, who played the first 11 and a half seasons of his career in an Atlanta Hawks uniform.
Wilkins is from the state of North Carolina, where he went to Washington High School in Eastern North Carolina. He got many offers as an outstanding high school athlete but choose to come to the Peach State and enroll at the University of Georgia. Wilkins left after three impressive years for the NBA Draft and was selected 3rd overall in 1982 by the Utah Jazz.
A post-draft trade brought him to the Atlanta Hawks where over the next decade, his amazing leaping ability and thunderous slam dunks earned him the nickname “Human Highlight Film.”
During his playing days, ‘Nique was a 9-time All-Star, 2-time Slam Dunk Champion, and a Scoring Champion as well. He was also named to the All-NBA first time once, second team four times, and third team twice during his time, as well as the NBA All-Rookie team in 1983, solidifying his status as the greatest Atlanta Hawk in franchise history.
Wilkins has also conquered the international basketball stage. He was apart of the “Dream Team II” that won the gold medal in the 1994 FIBA World Championship, and in 1996 when playing with Panathinaikos BC (Greece), Dominique was the Euroleague Champion, Euroleague Final Four MVP, Greece Cup Champion, and Greece Cup MVP.
In 2006, Wilkins was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Wilkins currently works in the Hawks front office as Vice-President of Basketball and has announced Hawks games since 2008.
From the Soaring Down South staff and the entire Atlanta Hawks fanbase, we wish Dominique Wilkins a happy 53 birthday and hope for many more as part of the Hawks organization.