Home > Pittsburgh Urban Media Mourns the Death of Former NBA Great Armon Gilliam, aka the "Hammer"

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Pittsburgh Urban Media Mourns the Death of Former NBA Great Armon Gilliam,  aka the "Hammer" 

Sadly, PUM reports that basketball legend,  Armon Gilliam who was also a contributor for PUM has died. Gilliam's mom, Alma Gilliam has confirmed to PUM that after working out last night at the LA Fitness, in Bridgeville, PA. that Armon collapsed and later died of a heart attack.

Funeral Arrangements for Armon Gilliam:


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Viewing 4pm until 8pm

Location:  South Assembly Church

2725 Bethel Church Rd.
Bethal Park PA…15102

Main Phone 412-835-8900

Funeral: 11:00 am
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Location: South Assembly Church

2725 Bethel Church Rd.
Bethal Park PA…15102

Main Phone 412-835-8900

Obituary: Armon Gilliam / Bethel Park basketball player turned into No. 2 pick in NBA
May 28, 1964 - July 5, 2011
Thursday, July 07, 2011

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Armon was such a great writer and a deep thinker, here are a few of the articles he wrote for PUM (see articles below)

After interviewing Armon, I asked him how does he accentuate the positive...

He replied:
Armon: "I like to look at every day as a gift from God that we can use for some type of good. There is work to be done, experiences to be enjoyed, gifts to develop and used, people to inspire and laughter to be shared. I believe we go through... life onetime. Therefore, we should maximize our lives journey's by embracing and using our God given gifts to the fullest and live in such a way that it leaves an enduring positive impact on the people that are in our sphere of influence."

Some of Armon's articles:















Armen Gilliam (born May 28, 1964, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania) nicknamed "The Hammer", is an American professional basketball player that played 13 years in the NBA (1987–2000). He also played one season (2005–06) for the Pittsburgh Xplosion of the American Basketball Association.

Born as Armon Louis Gilliam, he began his college basketball career in 1982-83 at Independence Junior College in Independence, Kansas. That year, Gilliam was a standout player on the basketball team that reached the Junior College Finals and finished 6th in the nation. Gilliam averaged 24.9 points and 14 rebounds in five tournament games and was named to the National Junior college finals all-tournament team.

Gilliam continued his college basketball career with UNLV. Gilliam played for UNLV from (1983–87)and was an integral part of a team that was 93-11 in the 3 years he played for the UNLV Rebels. The UNLV team was ranked number one in the country for most of the three years Gilliam competed and the team made it to the NCAA tournament every year during his stay. In 1987 the team reached the "Final Four and Gilliam was named to the NCAA Final Four all-tournament team. Gilliam scored 998 points in his senior year which was and still is a school record for the most points scored in season by a UNLV player. Gilliam also played on the U.N.L.V team that won 38 games in a season which is still a N.C.A.A. Division 1 record for most wins in a season. In 1987 Gilliam was selected for a number of All-American Teams and voted the top contender for the John Wooden award.

Gilliam was selected to play on the 1986 USA Basketball Team. This team fielded college stand outs likes: David Robinson, Kenny Smith, Tommy Amaker, Tom Hammonds, Charles D. Smith and Derrick McKey. The 1986 USA basketball team, led by head coach Lute Olson of Arizona, proceeded to shock the world with its play. The international community did not consider the team a medal-contender, but they advanced to the championship game and competed against the heavily favored Russians for the gold medal. Overcoming great odds, they won the 1986 World Championships and left Madrid Spain with golden memories.

Gilliam was the second pick in the first round of the 1987 NBA draft. As a rookie Gilliam was named to the all-rookie team (first team) in 1988 while playing for the Phoenix Suns. He went on to play 13 years in the NBA. Gilliam averaged 20 points and 9 rebounds for the Charlotte Hornets, played three years with the Philadelphia 76ers, and played three years with the New Jersey Nets, where he averaged between 12 to 18 points and 6 to 9 rebounds a game. Gilliam, A.K.A. "The Hammer" was the M.V.P. of the Nets for three consecutive years. Gilliam was called "The Hammer" durning his college days at U.N.L.V because of his physical play. The name stayed with Gilliam throughout his pro career.

Among other awards Gilliam was inducted into the Bethel Park Hall of Fame for the Sport of Basketball in 1997 and the UNLV Hall of Fame in 1998. He was selected to the Division 1 All- American Team in 1987 and was a finalist for the John Wooden award the same year. He also honored in 1996 for scoring 10,000 points during his NBA career. In November 2007, his college jersey (#35) was retired at half-time of the UNLV vs. Wasburn University game in Las Vegas.

In the 2001 Gilliam was named head coach of Penn State McKeesport's men's basketball team. In his first year as a head coach, he helped lead the team to a regular season record of 12-7. The team played well in the playoffs and reached the conference finals.

The next year Gilliam accepted the Head Men’s coaching position at Penn State Altoona and officially started on September 1, 2003. He had a couple of unsuccessful seasons as their head coach.

Gilliam came out of retirement in 2005 and was a player/coach for the Pittsburgh Xplosion of the ABA. Gilliam played and coached the Xplosion which finished in the top 6 out of the 48 teams in the A.B.A. Gilliam averaged 23.8 points a game and 9.1 rebounds and earned a spot on the Eastern conference all-star roster. Gilliam was named the all-star game MVP for 2006 after scoring 32 points and grabbing 15 rebounds at the BankAtlantic Center in Florida.

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