Chick Hearn's Statue Unveiling Today
The Lakers and Staples Center will be unveiling a bronze 5,000 pound sculpture of the legendary Lakers announcer Chick Hearn today in a ceremony in front of Staples Center at 4:30 pm. The nearly 16-foot statue will stand in front of the box office at Star Plaza at Staples center on Chick Hearn Court (11th street).
The ceremony is free and open to the public and will feature speeches from his widow Marge Hearn and other individuals who played prominent roles in Chick's career. Also beginning Wednesday fans will have an opportunity to take photos with the sculpture in an empty chair at the announcers' table next to Chick.
The statue was created by Omri Amrany, the famed Israeli sculptor who also created the Magic Johnson sculpture that also sits in Star Plaza, Harry Caray at Wrigley Field in Chicago and Wilt Chamberlain at Wachovia Spectrum in Philadelphia among others.
Hearn broadcasted Lakers games for 42 years from 1961 to 2002 during which he set a record 3,338 consecutive games broadcasted from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.
During his 42 years, he helped develop the vernacular for basketball broadcasts that is still used today with terms like "slam dunk," "air ball" and "charity stripe." He also did play-by-play for basketball during the 1992 Olympics, UNLV basketball with Ross Porter from 1986-1990, USC football and basketball from 1956-1961 and color commentary of the Rose Bowl from 1958-1961.
Among the honors he received was being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991, being the 20th member in the American Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1995, having the portion of 11th street between Figueroa Street and Georgia Street renamed "Chick Hearn Court", and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The entire ceremony will be broadcast on Fox Sports West HD at 4:30 pm and will be emceed by Bill McDonald and Stu Lantz, Hearn's broadcast partner from 1987 until his death in 2002.