NIU Hall of Famer Paul Dawkins dead at 61

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James Krause

DeKALB — NIU Hall of Fame basketball player Paul Dawkins, class of 1979, died March 25 at the age of 61, according to NIU Athletics. The cause of his death was not disclosed.

Dawkins won three league championships in eight years with the Galatasaray club of the Turkish Basketball Super League.

In four seasons with NIU from 1976 to 1979, Dawkins, or Dr. D as he was nicknamed by Huskies fans, scored a then school record 1,749 points, still ranking fourth on the all-time scoring list.

During his senior season in 1979, the Saginaw, Michigan, native won Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, averaging 26.7 points per game.

Dawkins finished his time at NIU with his collegiate career-high 47 points against Western Michigan.

The scoring mark is still an NIU record for points in a season and earned Dawkins fifth in the country for scoring that season.

After graduating, Dawkins was drafted by the Utah Jazz where he played 57 games in the 1980 season.

In his only season with the Jazz, Dawkins set a then franchise record for points in a half, scoring 30 against the Portland Trail Blazers in just his third game in the league.

After suffering a knee injury, Dawkins would go on to play eight seasons with Galatasaray. He would average 31 points per game in his career and win three championships while becoming a Turkish citizen in 1984.

After his playing career, Dawkins was inducted into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.