Adorned with signatures of all of the players, the ball used in Game 6 of the Bulls-Hawks Eastern Conference Semifinals was presented Thursday to the family of NBC Chicago sportscaster Daryl Hawks.
Hawks died in Atlanta just hours before the game that jettisoned Chicago to the Eastern Conference Finals.
"We know that Daryl was a big Bulls fan, and so was his family... and we want them to keep cheering for the Bulls and let them know that they're in our thoughts and our prayers," Bulls spokeswoman Sebrina Brewster said last week.
Prior to giving the ball to the family, the ball was signed by the players and had a panel removed so game information could be painted on it.
Daryl traveled to Atlanta on May 11 with an NBCChicago photojournalist to cover the May 12 game. But on the morning of the game, he was found unresponsive in his hotel room and was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The Fulton County (Georgia) Medical Examiner reported that "no obvious cause of death was identified" during a final examination.
A funeral was held for Hawks last Friday near his native Buffalo, New York. Chicago-based family, colleagues and friends paid their respects in another service held Wednesday.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Hawks Children Education Fund:
Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest
7777 Lake St.
River Forest, IL 60305
c/o Sean Olis