George Mikan was a professional basketball player. He played in the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball League. He is a 5-time BAA/NBA Champion and he is also a two-time NBL Champion.

Player Profile and Personal Life

George Lawrence Mikan Jr. was born on June 18, 1924, in Joliet, Illinois in the United States of America. He stood 207 cm tall and his weight was last listed at 111 kg.

Position Center
Height / weight 2.08 m / 111 kg
Born 18 Jun 1924
Died 1 Jun 2005 (80 years)
Nationality United States United States
Playing Style Right Handed
Nickname Mr. Basketball

He is of Croatian and Lithuanian descent. Mikan was known, not only for his height but also for wearing eyeglasses because he was short-sighted.

He died on June 1, 2005, aged 80 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mikan died in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2005 with complications from diabetes and other ailments. He is survived by his wife and six children.

High School and College Career

Mikan attended Joliet Catholic High School and later committed to play college basketball for DePaul University.

At the start, he was awkward to play basketball at first because of his height and short-sightedness. However, 28-year-old rookie DePaul basketball coach Ray Meyer saw potential in this bright and intelligent lad at DePaul University in 1946.

In the following months, Meyer transformed Mikan into a confident and aggressive player who took pride in his height rather than being ashamed of it. Later on, Mikan got selected in the National Collegiate Athletic Association college games where he used to dominate his peers.

Mikan intimidated opponents with his height, size, and strength and was unstoppable on offense with his hook shot. Soon, he established a reputation as one of the hardest players in the league.

He surprised the basketball world by his ability of goaltending, that is, jumping so high that he swatted the ball away prior to passing the hoop. At present, this action is forbidden, but during Mikan’s time in basketball, it was legal.

Professional Career

After the end of the 1945-46 season at DePaul University, he signed with the Chicago American Gears of the NBL, a predecessor of the modern NBA.

He played seven games at the end of the 1046 NBL season and scored 16.5 points per game. He even led the Gears to the championship of the World Basketball Tournament.

His professional career spanned from 1946 to 1956. In that time, he won five BAA/NBA Championships. He also won two NBL Championships.

Mikan only played for the Gears for a year. In 1947, he signed with the Minneapolis Lakers. With them, he was named the 1948 NBL Most Valuable Player. He was also later named an NBA All-Star four times.

In 1950, he was named the Greatest Player of the First Half-Century. He retired for good in 1956. Later, he would be named to the 25th, 35th, 50th, and 75th NBA Anniversary Teams.

When he retired, the Lakers also retired jersey number 99 in his honor. Mikan was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Career Highlights

  • 1949, 1950, 1952–1954 - BAA/NBA champion
  • 1947, 1948 - NBL champion
  • 1948 - NBL Most Valuable Player
  • 1951–1954 - NBA All-Star
  • 1953 - NBA All-Star Game MVP
  • 1949–1954 - All-BAA/NBA First Team
  • 1947, 1948 - All-NBL First Team
  • 1948 - NBL scoring champion
  • 1949–1951 - NBA scoring champion
  • 1953 - NBA rebounding leader
  • 1950 - Greatest Player of the First Half-Century

  • NBA anniversary team (25th, 35th, 50th, 75th)
  • No. 99 retired by the Los Angeles Lakers

  • 1944, 1945 - Helms Player of the Year
  • 1945 - Sporting News Player of the Year
  • 1944–1946 - Consensus first-team All-American

  • No. 99 retired by DePaul Blue Demons

  • 1948 - WPBT champion
  • 1946, 1948 - WPBT MVP
  • 1946, 1948 - All-WPBT First Team

Career NBL/BAA/NBA statistics

  • Points - 11,764 (22.6 ppg) (NBL / BAA / NBA), 10,156 (23.1 ppg) (BAA / NBA)
  • Rebounds - 4,167 (13.4 rpg) (NBA last five seasons)
  • Assists - 1,245 (2.8 apg) (BAA / NBA)

  • Basketball Hall of Fame as a player
  • College Basketball Hall of Fame, 2006

Team History:

As Coach:

  • 1957–1958 - Minneapolis Lakers

George Mikan, Jr FAQ

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