Friday, October 31, 2014

Rest In Peace Sean Hazel

I just learned today that former Golden Knight Sean Hazel passed away in September apparently due to complications from diabetes and cancer. Hazel was a key player on the 1987-88 Gannon team that advanced to the Division II Elite 8, falling at Troy (Ala.) in the quarterfinals.

Here's what I wrote on this blog about Hazel in 2011 when reminiscing about the best slashers in Gannon history: Hazel played just one year, scoring 126 points, but GU fans didn't get to see him full-speed due to an injury. I saw him 100% healthy during summer games at the Gannon Rec Center. He would single-handledly destroy the 1989-90 team that went to Springfield. He had an NBA body and explosiveness no one could match.

This memory I have is over 25 years old, but it's still vivid in my mind. We're playing shirts vs. skins at the Rec Center, and I jump to grab a defensive rebound. I thought it was going to fall into my hands until Hazel comes out of nowhere, snatches the ball with two hands, and thunder-slams it through the basket to finish the game. He made contact with me, but you couldn't call it "over the back" because he was up so high his abdomen hit me on the left side of my face.

Rest in peace Sean Hazel.


  1. IUP lost to Pitt Friday night, 72-58, in an exhibition game.

  2. Saw Sean Hazel play in what amounted to the Maroon-Gold Scrimmage that year. Came away thinking we had seen the second coming. Explosive like Mitchell Smith, could drive like Daryl Freeman, could shoot, could defend, could jump out of the building. Easily outplayed M. Smith, if I remember correctly.And then he got hurt before the games started, and he never looked anywhere near as good again. Too bad. Worse yet to hear that he passed away. RIP

  3. I remember like yesterday how stoked Assistant Coach John Ruby was when he signed Sean Hazel. He had a unique side spin on his shots that somehow found their mark. Unfortunately, the injury bug hit...

    May he Rest in Peace.