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daryl hawksATLANTA — A 38-year-old TV sports anchor from Chicago was found dead Thursday morning in his Atlanta hotel room, where he was staying while covering the Chicago Bulls-Atlanta Hawks NBA playoff series.

Daryl Hawks worked for WMAQ-TV since 2008. Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said Hawks was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead and police do not suspect anything criminal.

Hawks had been staying in the Omni Hotel at CNN Center, which is next to Philips Arena where the Bulls and Hawks play Game 6 Thursday night.

Hotel employees found him in his room at about 9:30 a.m. after he missed a wake-up call, WMAQ reported.

WMAQ colleagues were stunned by Hawks’ death, said Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news.

“Daryl was a great member of our sports team, and was so excited about covering the Bulls during this playoff run,” Whittaker said.

Hawks grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo and played semi-pro football in Lockport, N.Y., the Chicago Tribune reported.

Before joining WMAQ, the ex-Marine and three-time Emmy winner worked at television stations in the California Bay Area; Raleigh, N.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Palm Springs, Calif.

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