Joliet II: Hammond retires from NBA, focuses on NHRA

Chevy Cavalier Driver Tom Hammonds Announces Retirement From NBA CHICAGO, September 28, 2001 - Pro Stock Winnebago Chevy Cavalier driver Tom Hammonds announced today that he is retiring from the National Basketball Association after a 12-year ...

Chevy Cavalier Driver Tom Hammonds Announces Retirement From NBA

CHICAGO, September 28, 2001 - Pro Stock Winnebago Chevy Cavalier driver Tom Hammonds announced today that he is retiring from the National Basketball Association after a 12-year career. Hammonds has reached an agreement with the Minnesota Timberwolves for a buyout of the last year of his contract. The 34-year-old Hammonds will now focus full time on his NHRA drag racing career. He is competing this weekend at the NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill.

"I'm both excited and nervous," said Hammonds. "I've played basketball for the last 12 years of my life and now I'm turning over a page in my career. These last two weeks have been pretty crazy. I just realized that I wasn't going to be able to help the team out physically and didn't want to take up a roster spot. I feel this is the best business decision for the team and myself. I've been in contact with the players and they have expressed that they will miss me, which means a lot. I will miss them and playing as well, but feel that racing will fill my need for competition."

Hammonds spent his NBA years as a power forward first with the Washington Bullets (1990-92), then with the Charlotte Hornets (91-92), the Denver Nuggets (92-97), and most recently with the Minnesota Timberwolves (98-01). Hammonds was a collegiate basketball standout at Georgia Tech University where he was twice named to the first-team ACC All-Conference Team (1988-89). He ranks fifth on the Yellow Jackets all-time list in scoring (2081), sixth in rebounds (885), sixth in field-goal percentage (.566) and fifth in minutes played (4387). Bobby Cremins once referred to Hammonds as "the hardest working ballplayer I've ever coached."

"I would like to thank Winnebago, Chevrolet, GM Accessories, Mac Tools, Kendall Motor Oil and American Racing Custom Wheels for their support in my part-time racing career and look forward to working with them in the future," said Hammonds. "Now it's time to go out and have some fun. The one thing I do know is that if I devote my time to racing like I did to basketball, we'll be champions."

-JFR-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Hammonds