Monday
Jun222009

George Mikan

Enshrined 1959
Joliet, IL
June 18, 1924 - June 2, 2005

Biography

The marquee above Madison Square Garden that flashed "George Mikan vs. Knicks" aptly told the story of basketball's original superstar. The first dominant big man in professional ball, George Mikan played with a competitive fire and zest matched by few. Playing under Hall of Fame coach Ray Meyer at DePaul University, the 6-foot-10 Mikan along with fellow Hall of Famer Bob Kurland, swatted away so many shots that in 1944 the NCAA introduced a rule that prohibited goaltending. Unaffected by the rule change, Mikan led DePaul to the 1945 NIT title. Mikan enjoyed an extraordinary professional career, most notably winning championships with the Minneapolis Lakers. A dominating offensive force, Mikan led three different professional leagues in scoring and set the standard for all future centers. He was voted the greatest player in the first half century by the Associated Press.

Career Highlights

All-America at DePaul, 1944, 1945
All-NBA First-Team, 1950-54
Four-time NBA All-Star, 1951-54
Championships with the Chicago Gears, 1947, and Minneapolis Lakers, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952-54