Four deaths in the sports world that stood out in 2017:
› Roy Halladay: The former MLB pitcher died at age 40 when the plane he was piloting crashed Nov. 7. An eight-time All-Star and a Cy Young winner in each league during his 12 seasons with Toronto and four with Philadelphia, he had a career record of 203-105. There was that riveting season in 2010 when he threw a perfect game in May and a no-hitter in the NL Division Series for the Phillies, only the second postseason no-hitter in MLB history.
› Connie Hawkins: Hawkins, who died at 75 on Oct. 6, was wrongly implicated in a college point-shaving scandal. The 6-foot-8 forward went to the University of Iowa in 1960 but never played there, falsely accused of ties to gamblers. The NBA blackballed him until a lawsuit forced its hand. Hawkins played with the Harlem Globetrotters and elsewhere before getting to the NBA with the fledgling Phoenix Suns. He was an All-Star four straight seasons and also played for the Lakers and Hawks before retiring in 1976.
› Aaron Hernandez: The former New England Patriots star tight end died at 27, found hanging by a bedsheet in his Massachusetts prison cell on April 19 — the same day his former teammates celebrated another Super Bowl title at the White House. His was a grim tale that began with so much football promise and then spun wildly with fights, drugs and finally a murder conviction.
› Ara Parseghian: At Notre Dame, where football is in the school’s marrow, they are known as the “Holy Trinity” of coaches. First came Knute Rockne, then Frank Leahy. Parseghian completed the group. He went 95-17-4 leading the Fighting Irish, retired at just 51 and died at 94 on May 21. Notre Dame was in a barren stretch when Parseghian got there in 1964, going 2-7 the year before, but he changed things in a hurry.