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 NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat

Members of the Atlanta Council City Council will join the Atlanta Hawks in honoring longtime fan favorite and living legend Dominque Wilkins at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 5 in front of Phillips Arena.

A larger than life size statue will be unveiled in Wilkins’ honor as the community celebrates the 15th anniversary of Phillips Arena, the home of the Atlanta Hawks. Thursday’s private unveiling will be for family, close friends, former teammates, community dignitaries and other NBA legends, according to the team.

The 13.5-foot-tall, 18,500-pound granite sculpture features Wilkins in one of his signature explosive poses. The statue was created by Brian Hanlon, the official sculptor of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and will be available for public viewing March 6 as it takes its place between the Atlanta letters at Philips Arena.

The statue will be a symbol of the Hawks’ legend’s success as a player both on and off the court. Wilkins has also been named as a special advisor to Hawks’ CEO Steve Koonin and will continue to be the Vice President of Basketball for the Hawks.

“This is a great way to honor a local hero,” said City Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell, who will be bringing remarks during Thursday ceremony. “Dominique Wilkins not only amazed fans on the basketball court, giving us back-to-back winning seasons; he continues to be a valued voice for the Atlanta Hawks and a tireless community advocate. I am honored to stand with the Atlanta community today as we immortalize his legacy!”

“Dominique Wilkins is an NBA legend not just for his contributions on the court but also for his leadership and contributions to the Atlanta community,” said Councilmember Andre Dickens. “He was a relentless player who would dunk with conviction. I am honored to support legislative efforts to get street toppers named in his honor.”

Wilkins was instrumental in the Hawks’ prominence in the 1980s, when the club recorded four consecutive 50-win seasons during the decade.

“While obviously blessed with great talent, Dominique Wilkins refused to rely upon talent alone and in his quest to become one of the greatest players in the history of the National Basketball Association he became the greatest player in the history of the Atlanta Hawks.  Congratulations to him on this achievement and his permanent enshrinement. It is well deserved,” said Councilmember Mary Norwood.

“For so many of us, Dominique Wilkins is the man whose career brought us to love and root for the Hawks,” said Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms. “His skill level was among the best in the league, and the energy and passion he brought to each and every game was contagious.  His genuine love for the game has been matched by his love for our city. Although it is long overdue, to have this unveiling during one of the best seasons the Hawks have experienced is poetic.”

Wilkins was a nine-time NBA All-Star, and one of the best dunkers in NBA history, earning him a unique nickname.

“It is a wonderful occasion to honor a cultural phenomenal like Dominique Wilkins. His legacy would have him to be known as a Human Highlight Film.  He is simply “Nique” to those of us who are friends, fans and in awe of him. Based upon his legacy, athletic prowess for the Hawks, his philanthropy in the underserve communities and his large heart for all things “ATL”, he is more deserving of this honor,” said Councilmember Michael Julian Bond.

“As a high school student, I was captivated by the amazing talents and awesome skills of Dominique Wilkins,” said Councilmember Kwanza Hall. “Many young men of my generation saw him as the big brother who could slam that we all wanted to have. We viewed ‘Nique as our best shot, literally and figuratively. He was our scoring leader on the floor and a great role model for leadership.”

Atlanta City Council joins the Atlanta Hawks for dedication honoring Dominque Wilkins was originally published on atlantadailyworld.com

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