Jim McMillian

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Jim McMillian
Jim McMillian Bologna.jpg
Personal information
Born March 11, 1948
Raeford, North Carolina
Died May 16, 2016 (2016-05-17) (aged 68)
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school Thomas Jefferson
(Brooklyn, New York)
College Columbia (1967–1970)
NBA draft 1970 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13th overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Playing career 1970–1981
Position Small forward
Number 5
Career history
19701973 Los Angeles Lakers
19731976 Buffalo Braves
19761978 New York Knicks
1978–1979 Portland Trail Blazers
1979–1981 Sinudyne Bologna
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 8,736 (13.8 ppg)
Rebounds 3,319 (5.3 rpg)
Assists 1,557 (2.5 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

James M. McMillian (March 11, 1948 – May 16, 2016) was an American professional basketball player born in Raeford, North Carolina. After starring at Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, McMillian played college basketball at Columbia University. He led Columbia to a three-year mark of 63–14, and their last NCAA Tournament appearance in 1968, his sophomore year.[1] The tourney ended with a third-place finish for Columbia in the East regional, and Columbia ended that 1967–68 season the sixth-ranked college team in the nation.

"Jimmy Mac" not only was a three-time All-American and All-Ivy Leaguer, he was All-East each year, the ECAC Sophomore of the Year, and became the first person ever to earn the Haggerty Award in each of his three varsity seasons.

He scored 1,758 career points then a record, now second and averaged 22.9 points per game second-best then and now. McMillian is also second in career rebounds (743) and holds the season records for field goals in a season (253) and career (677). But despite their outstanding winning percentages, his Columbia teams managed only one Ivy League title in a period when they battled tough Princeton teams with Geoff Petrie and John Hummer and Penn teams with Dave Wohl and Corky Calhoun.

A 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) tall forward, he was drafted in the first round 13th overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA and was also a first round pick of the New York Nets of the ABA. He chose the Lakers and spent three years there, scoring 3,714 points, an average of 15.3 per game. In 1972, he helped lead the Lakers to an NBA Championship, averaging 19.1 points per game in the playoffs. He was a key factor in the Lakers' record-setting 33-game winning streak that season. McMillian, who was in his second season that year, replaced Elgin Baylor at forward and the team immediately launched their streak. After the retirement of Wilt Chamberlain, the Lakers needed a center and traded McMillian to the Buffalo Braves for Elmore Smith. He later played for the New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers.[2]

At the end of his career he moved to Italy and played for Sinudyne Bologna for two seasons.[3]

McMillian died from complications of heart failure on May 16, 2016.[4]


  1. ^ "Jim McMillian, Key Player for Lakers Title Team, Dies at 68". The New York Times. May 17, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  2. ^ Wallace, Phil (February 8, 2001). "McMillian Starred for Lion Teams, And in NBA". Columbia Daily Spectator. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  3. ^ "BATS web - Il Basket del Bats: formazioni del campionato italiano (1976-1980)". Il Basket del Bats. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  4. ^ "Jim McMillian, 9-year NBA veteran with 4 teams, dies at 68". ESPN. May 17, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.

External links

  • Player Profile @ basketball-reference.com
  • The book "Buffalo, Home of the Braves", complete narrative and photo history of the Buffalo Braves
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