Ap Bio Essay 1992 Nba

Wilkins with Panathinaikos at the EuroLeagueFinal Four semifinal on April 9, 1996.

Personal information
Born(1960-01-12) January 12, 1960 (age 58)
Paris, France
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight224 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High schoolWashington
(Washington, North Carolina)
CollegeGeorgia (1979–1982)
NBA draft1982 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the Utah Jazz
Playing career1982–1999
PositionSmall forward
Number21, 12
Career history
1982–1994Atlanta Hawks
1994Los Angeles Clippers
1994–1995Boston Celtics
1995–1996Panathinaikos
1996–1997San Antonio Spurs
1997–1998Fortitudo Bologna
1999Orlando Magic
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points26,668 (24.8 ppg)
Rebounds7,167 (6.7 rpg)
Assists2,677 (2.5 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006 & 2016

Jacques Dominique Wilkins (born January 12, 1960) is an American retired professionalbasketball player who primarily played for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Wilkins was a nine-time NBA All-Star, and is widely viewed as one of the best dunkers in NBA history, earning the nickname The Human Highlight Film.[1] In 2006, Wilkins was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Early life and college[edit]

Wilkins was born in Paris, France while his father was stationed there as an airman in the U.S. Air Force. Wilkins' family then moved to Dallas and Baltimore before settling in Washington, North Carolina, where he attended Washington High School. He was the back-to-back MVP for the team's consecutive Class 3-A State Championships (1978–1979). Wilkins was in the "Faces in the Crowd" section of Sports Illustrated while in high school for a performance in a game vs. a higher classification school in which he scored 48 points, had 27 rebounds, 9 dunks, and 8 blocks. Wilkins then starred in the McDonald's All-American Game, The Capital Classic, The Kentucky Derby Festival Classic, and The Dapper Dan Classic All-Star Games. He had 16 points and 12 rebounds in the McDonald's, 26 points in the Capital, and 22 points in the Derby Classic. He entered the University of Georgia in 1979 with an established reputation as an exciting player. Wilkins averaged 21.6 points a game over his career and was named SEC Men's Basketball Player of the Year in 1981.[2][3] He left college after his junior year and was selected third overall (behind James Worthy and Terry Cummings) by the Utah Jazz in the 1982 NBA draft.

Professional career[edit]

Cash flow problems within the Utah Jazz organization, along with Wilkins's reluctance to play with the Jazz, led to his trade to the Atlanta Hawks several months after the draft for John Drew, Freeman Williams and $1 million in cash.[4] Despite Wilkins's reluctance to play in Utah, the trade is now considered among the most lopsided deals in NBA history, as Drew and Williams would play a combined four seasons for the Jazz.

With the exception of his rookie season and his last three NBA seasons, Wilkins never averaged fewer than 20 points per game and captured a scoring title in 1985–86 with an average of 30.3 points per game.

Wilkins, in addition to his eleven seasons with the Hawks, had short stints with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Boston Celtics, Panathinaikos Athens (a professional team in Greece's top-tier levelGreek Basket League, with whom he won his first titles, the FIBA European League and the Greek Cup), Fortitudo Bologna (a professional team in Italy's top-tier levelLBA), the San Antonio Spurs, and the Orlando Magic before he retired in 1999.

Wilkins was instrumental in the Hawks' prominence in the 1980s, when the club recorded four consecutive 50-win seasons during the decade. As Wilkins entered his thirties and the Hawks needed more of an all-around contribution from their star, Wilkins averaged 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists during the 1990–91 season.

A nine-time NBA All-Star and the winner of two NBA slam dunk contests, Wilkins registered 26,668 points and 7,169 rebounds in his NBA career. As of 2016, he ranks 15th on the NBA scoring list.[5]

Wilkins' nickname was "The Human Highlight Film" for his athletic ability and highlight reel dunks. His trademark dunk was a powerful one- or two-handed windmill, dunks he used to capture the slam dunk contest titles in 1985 and 1990. As a basketball player he was known as an acrobatic scorer, somewhat of a gunner, though an outstanding finisher and one of the greatest dunkers in NBA history.

His #21 jersey was retired by the Hawks on January 13, 2001. He is one of four players whose jerseys have been retired by the Hawks.

Early NBA years[edit]

Wilkins notched his first Slam-Dunk Championship at the NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis during the 1984–85 season. He went on to finish the season with a 27.4 scoring average, good for sixth in the NBA. He ranked second on the Hawks in rebounding (6.9 rpg) and steals (135). For the first of two straight seasons he led the NBA in field-goal attempts, with 1,891. After going 0-for-11 from the three-point line the previous season, Wilkins made 25 of 81 three-point shots in 1984–85. He also shot better than 80 percent from the free throw line for the first of 10 consecutive seasons. Despite Wilkins's efforts, Atlanta finished 34-48 and failed to reach the playoffs.

Wilkins exploded into the NBA's elite circle in 1985–86, winning the league scoring title with an average of 30.3 points per game. He was an NBA All-Star for the first time and was voted to the All-NBA First Team at the end of the season. He failed in his bid to repeat as NBA Slam-Dunk champion, his competition coming from an unlikely source. The Hawks had signed 5-foot-7 Anthony "Spud" Webb as a free agent prior to the season, and Webb dazzled the All-Star Saturday crowd in Dallas by soaring more than 4 feet (1.2 m) to the basket on each of his dunk attempts. Atlanta turned its fortunes around in dramatic fashion, winning 16 more games in the 1985–86 season to finish 50-32 for the year. Wilkins scored 57 points in one game and ranked among the Hawks' leaders in rebounding (7.9 rpg), steals (138), and free-throw percentage (.818). Atlanta beat the Detroit Pistons in four games in the first round of the playoffs, but the Hawks could not get past the eventual NBA-champion Boston Celtics, losing four games to one in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Wilkins averaged 28.6 points in the nine playoff games.

After playing as a reserve the previous year, Wilkins became the first Atlanta Hawks player to start in an NBA All-Star Game since Eddie Johnson in 1981. Wilkins finished the year second in the league in scoring (29.0 ppg) to Michael Jordan's 37.1 points per game. He scored the 10,000th point of his career against the Chicago Bulls on April 16 and was named to the All-NBA Second Team at the season's end. Atlanta went into the season with high expectations after a 50-32 mark the previous year, and the Hawks totalled a franchise-record 57 victories. Doc Rivers, Kevin Willis, Tree Rollins, and Mike McGee contributed as the club made it through the first round of the NBA playoffs before losing in the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Detroit Pistons. Wilkins averaged 26.8 points during the postseason, the second of six straight playoffs in which he would average at least 20 points.

Late 1980s[edit]

In the 1987–88 season, Wilkins posted the highest scoring average of his career and finished second to Jordan in the NBA scoring race. He averaged 30.7 points for the Hawks, but Jordan bested him at 35.0. Jordan also defeated Wilkins for the Slam Dunk Championship at the NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago. Wilkins earned a berth on the All-NBA Second Team and became the first Hawks player to be named NBA Player of the Week three times in a season. In his third straight All-Star Game appearance, Wilkins scored 29 points on 12-of-22 shooting, leading the East squad to a 138-133 victory.

Atlanta (50-32) won at least 50 games for the third straight season and advanced to the 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals before losing to the Boston Celtics in seven games. In Game 7 on May 22, Wilkins and Larry Bird carried their respective teams to a thrilling finish, trading bucket for bucket in the fourth quarter until Boston won with a 118-116 victory. Wilkins finished with 47 points and Bird had 34-with 20 of his points tallied in the fourth quarter. "The basket was like a well," remembered Wilkins. "I couldn’t miss. He couldn’t miss. And it went down to the last shot of the game. Who was going to make the last shot? That's the greatest game I’ve ever played in or seen played. It was two guys who just did not want to lose."

During the 1989 season with the Hawks, Wilkins's scoring average dropped slightly to 26.2, good for seventh in the league, but he was an All-Star for the fourth straight year. He shot a career-best .844 from the free-throw line and ranked second on the Hawks with 117 steals. Basketball writers selected him to the All-NBA Third Team at season's end. The Hawks added Reggie Theus and Moses Malone to the team in 1988–89. Malone averaged 20.2 points and finished fourth in the league with his 11.8 rebounding average. Theus averaged 15.8 points. Without 7-foot (2.1 m) Kevin Willis, however, who missed the entire season with a fractured left foot, Atlanta lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. Wilkins averaged 27.2 points in the playoffs.

Wilkins returned to dunking prominence in 1989–90 by edging out the Sacramento Kings’ Kenny Smith for his second NBA Slam-Dunk championship. He averaged 26.7 points to finish fifth in the NBA scoring race. He led the Hawks in steals for the first time since 1985–86, finishing with 126. His .484 field-goal percentage was the best since his rookie season, and for the sixth straight year he did not foul out of a game. Nonetheless, Atlanta struggled to a 41-41 record in Mike Fratello's last season as head coach, failing to make the playoffs for only the second time in Wilkins' career.

1990s[edit]

Wilkins averaged a career-high 9.0 rebounds in 1990–91, leading the Hawks in that category for the first time in his nine NBA seasons. He also led the team in scoring for the eighth straight year, finishing at 25.9 points per game—seventh best in the NBA. He registered a career-high 265 assists while developing a three-point shot he would use more and more in the later stages of his career. He hit 85-of-249 from long range for a .341 percentage, by far his most prolific three-point numbers to date. Wilkins made his sixth All-Star Game appearance, scoring 12 points in the East's 116-114 victory over the West. He was selected to the All-NBA Second Team for the third time in his career. Atlanta returned to the playoffs after a year's absence, drawing the defending NBA champion Detroit Pistons in the first round. The Hawks pushed the Pistons to a fifth game, but Detroit routed Atlanta, 113-81, in Game 5. Wilkins averaged 20.8 points in the five games, but shot .372 from the field and .133 from three-point range.

In the 1991–92 season, Wilkins' ruptured his Achilles tendon against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 28, 1992. He underwent surgery on January 30. Seven weeks before the injury, Wilkins had set an NBA record by making 23 consecutive free throws in a game against the Chicago Bulls.[6] He also scored the 20,000th point of his career, becoming only the 16th player at the time to reach that plateau. On the day of the injury, Wilkins was named a reserve on the Eastern Conference All-Star Team. His 28.1 scoring average was his highest in five years, and the 52 points he scored in a double-overtime game on December 7 against the New York Knicks were the most by an NBA player that season.

Wilkins was honored by several sports publications[who?] the next season as the NBA Comeback Player of the Year. He scored an average of 27.7 points per game in the first month of the season. He then suffered a setback when he fractured the ring finger on his right hand on December 15, sitting out the next 11 games. He returned to rack up 29.4 points per game on .487 shooting in January, then added 31.5 points per game on .519 shooting in February. By the end of the season, his scoring average was up to 29.9, second in the league behind Michael Jordan's 32.6. When Wilkins scored his 31st point in a February 2 game against the Seattle SuperSonics, he broke Bob Pettit's franchise scoring record of 20,880 points. He had developed into a full-fledged three-point threat, hitting 120 of 316 attempts from long range to shatter his previous career bests. He was later selected to the All-NBA Second Team. The Chicago Bulls swept the Hawks in the first round of the playoffs 3–0.

Wilkins showed no signs of fading in his 12th NBA season, even after a tumultuous midseason trade. After 11½ years with the Atlanta Hawks, Wilkins was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on February 24 in exchange for Danny Manning. This is still the only time in NBA history a team in first place in their conference traded its leading scorer after the All-Star break. Prior to the trade Wilkins averaged 24.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists for Atlanta, leading the club to a 36-16 record. At midseason he appeared in his eighth NBA All-Star Game. Hawks management and new coach Lenny Wilkens claimed Manning and his skills would help the team more during the stretch run. However, many believed that money was the primary reason the Hawks made the trade. Wilkins' contract expired at the end of the season, and the Hawks may not have been willing to commit a new long-term contract to a player who was almost 35 years old.

The top-seeded Hawks lost in the conference semifinals to the Indiana Pacers. Wilkins left Atlanta as the team's all-time leading scorer with 23,292 points. In his final 25 games of the season Wilkins averaged 29.1 points and 7.0 rebounds. On March 25 he returned to Atlanta in a Clippers uniform and tallied 36 points and 10 rebounds against his former team. Overall, Wilkins's 26.0 scoring average ranked fourth in the NBA. He concluded the season with 24,019 career points, placing ninth on the NBA's all-time list. Wilkins became a free agent after the 1993–94 season and signed with the Boston Celtics. Shortly after the signing, he helped Dream Team II to a gold medal at the 1994 World Championship of Basketball.

European champion[edit]

Unhappy with his role on a rebuilding Celtics team, in August 1995, Wilkins signed a two-year contract worth US$7 million with Panathinaikos of the Greek League[7] that saw him receive US$3.5 million net sum per year in salary.[8][9]

Playing on a roster alongside Stojko Vranković, Panagiotis Giannakis, Fragiskos Alvertis and Nikos Oikonomou, 35-year-old Wilkins started off the season sluggishly, frequently getting targeted by the team's disciplinarian, defensively-minded head coach Božidar Maljković, even getting fined US$50,000 by the club for making too many personal trips back to the United States during the season, and complaining about being treated "like a dog" by coach Maljković.[10] However, Wilkins soon managed to adapt and thrive in the European game, averaging 20.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists, in 33.2 minutes per game, in 17 games played for Panathinaikos in the 1995–96 season of the EuroLeague,[11] and helping them win the title of the EuroLeague Final Four of 1996. He particularly excelled in key EuroLeague contests such as the deciding game 3 of the EuroLeague quarterfinals best-of-3 series, versus Treviso, where he recorded 26 points and 7 rebounds, as Panathinaikos eked out a hard-fought 64-65 victory on the road, to progress to the EuroLeague Final Four. During the 1996 EuroLeague Final Four, that was held in his birthplace of Paris, Wilkins had 35 points and 8 rebounds in the semifinal against CSKA, and a double-double, with 16 points and 10 rebounds against Barcelona in the final. His performances earned him the Final Four MVP award. He also won the Greek Cup with Panathinaikos, and was named the MVP of the Cup Final. However, he failed to win the national championship of the Greek League 1995–96 season, as his team, Panathinaikos, lost the Greek League Finals to their arch-rivals, Olympiacos, 3 games to 2. In the Greek League, he averaged 21.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists and 32.0 minutes per game in 30 games played.[12]

He returned to the NBA before the 1996–97 season, signing a contract as a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs, to solidify their bench scoring. Wilkins led the team with an average of 18.2 points per game in 1996–97. However, after one season, Wilkins once again went overseas, this time signing a contract with Teamsystem Bologna of the Italian League, for the 1997–98 season. With Bologna, he averaged 17.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists, in 33.5 minutes per game, in 34 games played in the Italian League.[13] With Bologna, he also averaged 17.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists, in 33.8 minutes per game, in 20 games played in the FIBA EuroLeague 1997–98 season.[14] Wilkins returned to play his last season in the NBA, during the 1998–99 campaign, alongside his brother Gerald Wilkins, with the Orlando Magic. In 27 games, he averaged 5.0 points per game and 2.6 rebounds per game.

Slam dunk contests[edit]

Wilkins participated in five slam dunk contests, winning two. His first was in 1984, in Denver. Wilkins finished third, behind Larry Nance and Julius Erving. In 1985, in Indianapolis, he beat Michael Jordan in the finals. In Dallas in 1986, a Jordan-Wilkins rematch was put on hold, since Jordan was injured. Wilkins reached the finals where he was defeated by his 5'7" teammate, Spud Webb.

The 1988 Slam Dunk Contest featured a rematch between Wilkins and Jordan. Jordan won in the final, beating Wilkins by two points. Wilkins' first two dunks of the finals earned scores of 50 from judges. On his third and final attempt, Wilkins' completed a thunderous windmill dunk from the left side. Soaring high above the floor, Wilkins' head nearly hit the rim. Wilkins received a standing ovation from players and fans in attendance, but was awarded a low score of 45. The judges opened the door for Jordan to win the Chicago-based event with a score of only 48. Jordan closed out the event with 50-point dunk, taking perhaps the contest's most controversial crown.

In 1990 Wilkins made his final appearance in the Slam Dunk Contest, going up against new promising stars such as Kenny Smith, Scottie Pippen and Kenny Walker (the 1989 champion). He defeated Kenny Smith of the Sacramento Kings in the final round.

Later life[edit]

Since 2004, Wilkins has served as the Hawks' Vice President of Basketball. He works in a variety of management functions within the franchise's basketball and business areas. Wilkins is responsible for advising the Hawks's senior management team on basketball-related issues and is a goodwill ambassador for the community. Wilkins also serves as a color analyst for Hawks games, pairing alongside long-time play-by-play announcer Bob Rathbun.

Wilkins was a judge in the 2008 NHL All-Star Game Breakaway Challenge, which was held in Atlanta.[16]

In 2009, Wilkins participated in the McDonald's All-Star Celebrity Game during NBA All-Star Weekend[17] and in the 2009 NBA Asia Challenge against a team of Philippine Basketball Association All-Stars. He led all scorers with 28 points in 20 minutes of play.[18]

In 2010, Wilkins signed an agreement to partner with fitness company 24 Hour Fitness to develop the Dominique Wilkins Basketball Academy. The academy conducted private training, camps, and clinics at the 24 Hour facility in Pearl City, Hawaii. In late 2010, Wilkins starred with Verne Troyer in the TitleMax "short on cash?" television commercial campaign.

According to ESPN, Wilkins was attacked by former NBA referee Rashan Michel after a 2011 Hawks–Magic game at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Michel claimed that Wilkins owed him money for a suit provided to Wilkins. Afterward, according to the police, Michel attacked Wilkins by punching him in the chest.[19]

Recently Wilkins released the first of his private label wines under the Wilkins Private Reserve label. He took an interest in fine wines while playing professionally in Italy at the end of his career and owning a private label was one of his long-term goals.[20]

In March 2014, Wilkins, whose father and grandfather both died of diabetic complications, filmed a commercial for Novo Nordisk's Victoza citing their commitment to raising awareness of diabetes in the urban community, with an emphasis on children's nutrition.[21]

Wilkins' stepson, Isaiah Wilkins, is a senior on the University of Virginia men's basketball team.[22]

On March 6, 2015 the Atlanta Hawks organization unveiled a statue of Wilkins that sits in front of Philips Arena.[23]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field goal percentage 3P% 3-point field goal percentage FT% Free throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high

Regular season[edit]

Playoffs[edit]

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
1983Atlanta3336.3.4051.000.8575.0.3.7.315.7
1984Atlanta5534.4.417.000.8398.22.22.4.219.2
1986Atlanta9940.0.433.439.8616.02.81.0.228.6
1987Atlanta9940.0.410.415.8927.82.81.8.926.8
1988Atlanta121239.4.457.222.7686.42.81.3.531.2
1989Atlanta5542.4.448.294.7115.43.4.81.627.2
1991Atlanta5539.0.372.133.9146.42.61.81.020.8
1993Atlanta3337.7.427.250.7675.33.01.0.330.0
1995Boston4437.5.426.471.88910.82.0.5.819.0
1999Orlando103.0.500.000.000.0.0.0.02.0
Career565539.6.429.281.8246.72.61.3.625.4

EuroLeague statistics[edit]

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field goal percentage 3P% 3-point field goal percentage FT% Free throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high

Awards and achievements[edit]

  • 1985–86 NBA Scoring Champion (30.3 ppg)
  • NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Champion: 1985, 1990.
  • NBA All-Rookie Team: 1983.
  • All-NBA First Team: 1986.
  • All-NBA Second Team: 1987–88, 1991, 1993.
  • All-NBA Third Team: 1989, 1994.
  • Nine-time NBA All-Star: 1986–94.
  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2006).
  • FIBA EuroLeagueChampion: 1996 (now known as EuroLeague).
  • Greek Cup Winner: 1996
  • NBA Shooting Stars champion: 2013–2015 (Team Chris Bosh, with Swin Cash).

NBA records[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Free throws made in a game with no misses: 23-23, vs. Chicago Bulls,000000001992-12-08-0000December 8, 1992

  • Also holds fourth (see below)

Consecutive free throws made in a game: 23, vs. Chicago Bulls,000000001992-12-08-0000December 8, 1992

1 of 7 players in NBA history to average at least 25 points per game for 10 consecutive seasons: 1984–85-1993–94

Playoffs[edit]

Points scored in a Game 7 of a playoff series: 47, at Boston Celtics, 000000001988-05-22-0000May 22, 1988

  • Game 7 of Eastern Conference Semifinals
  • The Atlanta Hawks still lost the game (and series), 118-116.

Field goal attempts, 4-game series: 114, vs. Detroit Pistons (1986)

All-Star[edit]

Field goal attempts, half: 16 (1988)

Ranks 3rd in NBA history[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Consecutive seasons scoring 2,000 or more points: 7 (1984–85-1990–91)

Ranks 4th in NBA history[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Seasons scoring 2,000 or more points: 8 (1984–85-1990–91, 1992–93)

Free throws made, none missed, game: 18-18, at San Antonio Spurs,000000001988-01-13-0000January 13, 1988

  • Also holds the record (see above)

Playoffs[edit]

Field goals made, 4-game series: 63, vs. Detroit Pistons (1986)

Field goal attempts, 4-game series: 108, vs. Indiana Pacers (1987)

  • Also held the record (see above)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Mitchell Neil William "Mitch" McGary (born June 6, 1992)[1] is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). A native of Chesterton, Indiana, McGary declared for the NBA draft after completing his sophomore season for the 2013–14 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team. He was drafted 21st overall by the Thunder in the 2014 NBA draft.

At the time of his National Letter of Intent signing with Michigan Wolverines basketball, ESPN.com and Scout.com ranked McGary as the number two player in the United States high school class of 2012, while Rivals.com ranked him as the number three prospect.[2] He was not only the consensus top power forward recruit in the nation,[3] but also the top big man according to most sources at the time.[4] After his signing, however, McGary fell down in the rankings as his underdeveloped offensive skills became apparent.

At Michigan, McGary became the sixth man as well as the leading shot blocker and rebounder for the 2012–13 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team. During the season, he was twice named Big Ten Freshman of the Week. He became the regular starter during the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament[5] and earned South All-Regional Team and NCAA All-Tournament Team recognition as he helped the team reach the championship game. He led all Big Ten Freshman in rebounding.

Background[edit]

Mitch McGary was born on June 6, 1992,[6] and grew up in the Chesterton, Indiana, area. He played in YMCA and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball leagues as a youth, and his father, Tim, who had never played organized sports, coached him until fourth grade.[7] McGary's mother is named Valerie.[8] When McGary was younger, his father thought his athletic future was in baseball.[8] McGary played on the 2007–08 Chesterton High Schooljunior varsity team as a freshman, while eventual three-time Michigan WolverinescaptainZack Novak was a senior on the varsity team.[9] That year he also was a 6-foot-6-inch (1.98 m), 190-pound (86 kg) freshman tight end on the high school football team, but his father made him quit football as he continued to grow.[10] His local Indiana SPY Players AAU basketball team included future Michigan teammates Max Bielfeldt and Glenn Robinson III, son of Glenn Robinson.[8] McGary joined the varsity basketball team the following season and played two years. McGary is afflicted with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He eventually transferred to Brewster Academy, a prep school in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, to repeat his junior year because his parents thought the discipline would be good for him.[3] Before transferring to Brewster, McGary was the tallest kid in his school and in the basketball conference that he played in.[8] McGary shoots left-handed.[11]

As late as March 2011, McGary ranked 92nd in the national class of 2012 by Rivals.com.[12] During the LeBron James Skills Academy in July, McGary stood out as the best player in attendance.[13][14][15] He was invited to participate in the 5th annual Nike Global Challenge the following month.[16] Due to an ankle injury he did not participate.[17] However, later that month, he participated in the Boost Mobile Elite 24 event,[18][19] where he shattered a backboard.[20] His other 2011 summer camps included Pittsburgh Jam Fest, the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 camp and the Under Armour Best of the Best Camp, where he was the most valuable player.[19] Also in August, ESPN reported that McGary had narrowed his list of schools to six: University of Florida, University of Maryland, University of North Carolina, University of Michigan, Duke University and University of Kentucky.[21] Because McGary does not like to be the bearer of bad news, when he narrowed his list, he had his father contact the coaches of the teams no longer in contention for his services.[8] McGary scheduled his official Michigan visit for the beginning of September.[22] McGary completed his official campus visits to University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, and Duke University,[9] in that order, by October 4.[23] However, due to injuries suffered a few weeks earlier while shattering the backboard, he only played pick-up games at Duke.[20][23] He also made an unofficial visit to Florida prior to these official visits.[17] While Michigan assistant coach Bacari Alexander was recruiting him, a Brewster Academy groundskeeper relayed a story about McGary consoling a freshman who was in tears when his parents dropped him off on the first day of school. Alexander says the groundskeeper told him that "McGary spotted the kid from a distance, stopped his conversation and ran to him, consoled him and brought him into school with his group of friends." Alexander said that McGary's character made him a great fit for Michigan.[24]

His reported best friend,[25] Robinson had committed to Michigan on September 14, 2010.[26] In a press conference broadcast on ESPNU on November 3, 2011, McGary announced his verbal commitment to Michigan over his other two finalist Florida and Duke.[27][28][29] Within hours of the commitment, ESPN ranked Michigan's recruiting class the fifth best in the nation.[30] After several other schools announced their commitments, Michigan, which had been outside the top 25 at the end of October, ranked the number 7 class in the nation, according to ESPN.[31][32] He waited until November 9 to sign his National Letter of Intent so that his parents, who were still living in Indiana, could be present.[2][4] Both of his parents had liked head coach Mike Krzyzewski and had hoped that he would choose Duke.[8] At the time of their November 2011 National Letter of Intent signings, Nik Stauskas, Robinson and McGary gave Michigan a consensus top 10 entering class for its 2012 class.[33]

McGary was technically eligible for the 2012 NBA Draft.[34] Brewster entered the 2012 NEPSAC Class AAA Boys' Basketball Tournament undefeated and ranked number 1 in the nation according to the Five-Star Basketball Rankings published in Sports Illustrated,[35] but lost in the semifinals of the tournament to Northfield Mount Hermon School, who was led by future teammate Spike Albrecht, in overtime on March 2.[36] In the overtime period, McGary missed a game-tying free throw with 17.3 seconds remaining.[37] His Brewster team defeated Massanutten Military Academy[38] and Notre Dame Prep[39] to reach the March 7 championship game in the National Prep Championship against Hargrave Military Academy. Brewster won the National Prep Championship Game.[40][41][42] The 2011–12 Brewster team was reported to have eight future Division I basketball players, including Florida State commit Aaron Thomas, Xavier commit Semaj Christon, NC State commit T. J. Warren, and JaKarr Sampson.[43][44] JaKarr Sampson earned both the 2012 National Prep Championship MVP and New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) AAA Player of the Year,[41][45] leaving McGary with a supporting role.

McGary was invited to participate in the four-team All-American Championship along with future teammate Robinson in New Orleans on April 1, 2012.[46] Six days later, McGary represented USA Basketball at the 15th annual Nike Hoops Summit as part of the 2012 USA Junior National Select Team.[47] Following the season, he was named as one of 40 Parade All-Americans.[48]

During his senior season, scouts became aware that McGary was less polished offensively than he had appeared. By January, his ranking had been reduced from number 2 overall to about number 20.[49] He eventually settled between 26th and 30th by Scout.com, ESPN and Rivals.com in the final class of 2012 overall rankings.

NameHometownHigh school / collegeHeightWeightCommit date
Mitch McGary
PF
Chesterton, INChesterton High School (IN)/Brewster Academy (NH)6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)247.5 lb (112.3 kg)Mar 11, 2011 
Recruiting star ratings:Scout:   Rivals:   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 96
Overall recruiting rankings:Scout: 26, 10 (C)   Rivals: 30, 8 (C)  ESPN: 27, 5 (PF), 4 (IN)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

College career[edit]

The 2011–12 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team had been co-champions of 2011–12 Big Ten Conference,[50] but lost both of its co-captains, Zack Novak and Stu Douglass, to graduation and three players as transfers.[51][52] The team was returning a nucleus of All-Big Ten players Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr.[53]

Freshman[edit]

In the third game of the season and the third of his career, McGary posted a game-high 9 rebounds in 17 minutes of play off the bench against Cleveland State on November 13. McGary also went 3-for-3 on his field goals.[54][55] McGary reached double figures in scoring for the first time December 4 against Western Michigan (Michigan's eighth game of the season) when he scored 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting in 14 minutes of play off the bench.[56][57] He had his first 10-rebound game on December 11 against the Binghamton Bearcats.[58][59] On December 20, he posted his first double-double with a then career-high 11 rebounds and 10 points as well as a then career-high 3 steals in just 18 minute of play against Eastern Michigan.[60][61] On December 24, he was recognized as Big Ten Freshman of the Week.[62] On January 6, McGary tied then career high with 11 rebounds, tied a then career high 2 assists and set a career high with 3 blocked shots against Iowa.[63][64] On January 28, Michigan was ranked number one in the AP Poll with 51 of the 65 first place votes.[65] It marked the first time Michigan ranked atop the AP Poll since the Fab Five1992–93 team did so on December 5, 1992.[66]

After enduring an injured ankle against Illinois, starting center Jordan Morgan sat out the January 30 Northwestern game.[67] McGary posted 11 rebounds again, against Northwestern.[68][69] In the subsequent games, Morgan continued to be in a day-to-day condition, playing minimal or no minutes.[70] McGary played a career-high 29 minutes, tallying then career highs of 14 points and 4 steals, along with 6 rebounds, on February 5 in an overtime victory against Ohio State.[71][72] On February 9, McGary played 32 minutes in an overtime loss to Wisconsin, totaling 12 points, 3 steals and 8 rebounds.[73] For his efforts in two overtime games on the week, McGary earned his second Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor on February 11.[74] On February 12 in Michigan's 25th game of the season, McGary made his first appearance in the starting lineup in the rivalry game against Michigan State. Michigan lost 75–52 with McGary posting a team-high 4 rebounds.[75][76] Morgan returned to the starting lineup in the February 17 Penn State contest, but he only played 7 minutes.[77] Although McGary started again against Illinois on February 24, Morgan played more minutes than McGary and Jon Horford.[78] On March 14, in the first round of the 2013 Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament against Penn State, McGary posted his second career double-double, reaching 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first half, but only adding one more rebound in the second half.[79][80]

Prior to the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com named Michigan with McGary first among tournament teams in terms of having the most future NBA talent on its roster (in the absence of Kentucky who was relegated to the 2013 National Invitation Tournament).[81] As a number four seed, Michigan defeated its first NCAA tournament opponent, South Dakota State, 71–56 on March 21 with McGary making his third start of the season and contributing 13 points and 9 rebounds.[82] The 27th victory of the season gave the team its most wins in 20 years and matched head coach John Beilein's career high.[83] Two days later McGary made his fourth career start, adding career highs of 21 points on 10-for-11 shooting and 14 rebounds against VCU in a 78–53 victory.[84][85][86] In the first two tournament games combined, he shot 16-for-20.[87] On March 29 against Kansas, McGary earned his third consecutive start and 5th start of the season.[88] He scored a career-high 25 points and career-high tying 14 rebounds, marking his second consecutive and fourth career double-double.[88] He shot 12-for-17 in the game.[89] McGary joined Blake Griffin (2009) as the only two players in the last 15 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournaments to achieve 14 or more rebounds and 21 or more points in back-to-back games.[90] With his tournament run, McGary became the Big Ten Conference leader in field goal percentage (although he slipped just below Victor Oladipo at the end of the season).[91] In the regional finals on March 31 against Florida, McGary contributed 9 rebounds and 11 points, including 8 points as Michigan opened up a 13–0 lead to start the game.[92] McGary, also added a career-high 5 steals during his fourth consecutive start.[93] McGary and Stauskas joined Most Outstanding Player Trey Burke on the 5-man South All-Regional team.[94] Following the regional championship postgame prayer and with Mrs. Beilein's consent, McGary and Tim Hardaway, Jr. gave head coach John Beilein a gatorade shower.[95] In the April 6 national semifinal against Syracuse, McGary contributed 10 points and 12 rebounds along with a career-high 6 assists.[96][97] Two nights later, Michigan lost in the championship game to Louisville by an 82–76 margin as McGary contributed 6 points, 6 rebounds, a steal, a block and an assist.[98] McGary made the 7-man All-Tournament team (which was revised multiple times) along with teammates Burke and Albrecht.[98][99] In his six NCAA Tournament starts, he averaged a double-double with 14.3 points and 10.8 rebounds.[100] McGary finished the season as the Big Ten conference freshman leader in rebounding and placed second to Victor Oladipo in field goal percentage (59.87% vs. 59.82%).[101]

2013 NBA Draft[edit]

Prior to the Final Four, McGary stated that he would not enter the 2013 NBA Draft,[102] but a few days later said he had been caught off guard and would prefer to respond after he has time to reflect on his season.[103] On April 9 before boarding the airplane to return from the NCAA Final Four, Beilein met with Burke, Hardaway, Robinson and McGary to direct them to seek the advice of the NBA advisory committee. The draft board has until April 15 to develop each individual report and the players have until April 28 to enter the draft.[104] On April 12, ESPN journalist Myron Medcalf described McGary's likelihood of entering the draft as "borderline," noting that his NCAA tournament performance may have given him a sudden chance to be a lottery selection.[105] Several sources regarded him as a likely first round draft choice in the NBA Draft,[5][106] so there was much speculation about him entering his name into the draft. On April 18, he and Robinson held a joint press conference to announce that they would not enter the draft.[107] This came after Burke and Hardaway entered the draft on the 14th[108][109] and 17th,[110] respectively.

Sophomore[edit]

Preseason[edit]

On April 30, ESPN's Eamonn Brennan named him a first team 2013-14 pre-offseason All-American selection.[111] In June 2013, Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy named McGary the best center for the upcoming season.[112] McGary declined an invitation to try out for the USA Basketball team that competed at the 2013 Summer Universiade, opting instead to attend the Nike Skills Academy for big men featuring Amar'e Stoudemire and Anthony Davis and the LeBron James Skills Academy.[113][114]

On September 6, Sporting News named McGary to its preseason All-American first team (along with Doug McDermott, Marcus Smart, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins), as well as the best overall player in the Big Ten Conference after he led Michigan to the championship game by averaging 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game in the tournament.[115][116]NBC Sports named him a second team selection.[117] Later that month, McGary joined McDermott, Smart, Wiggins and Julius Randle as first team preseason All-Americans by USA Today Sports 2013-14 College Basketball Preview Magazine.[118] However, USA Today sports staff later selected him as second team.[119]Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook named McGary a preseason second team All-American.[120]Lindy's Sports selected McGary to the preseason All-Big Ten second team and named him the nation's second best power forward.[121]Athlon Sports selected McGary to its preseason All-American second team and preseason All-Big Ten first team.[122][123]CBS Sports selected McGary as a second team preseason All-American.[124]Dick Vitale selected McGary to his All-Solid Gold preseason first team (along with McDermott, Smart, Russ Smith and Aaron Craft).[125] On November 4, McGary was named first team preseason All-American by the Associated Press along with Mcdermott, Smart, Wiggins and Smith.[126][127] McGary was on the 50-man Naismith Award and Wooden Award preseason watchlists.[128][129]

In September, McGary experienced an unspecified lower back condition that impaired his basketball activity.[130] He sat out the first exhibition game on October 29 against Concordia University.[131][132] McGary was a preseason All-Big Ten selection in both the official media poll released by the Big Ten Conference and the unofficial media poll released by the Big Ten Network.[133][134] He was also on the 15-man Oscar Robertson Trophy Preseason Watch List.[135]

Regular season[edit]

McGary sat out the season opener on November 8 due to his back problems.[136] By November 11, head coach Beilein stated that McGary had begun participating in limited full-speed workouts.[137] After missing the preseason and first two regular season games, McGary returned to play against Iowa State on November 17 posting 9 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals.[138][139][140] McGary posted a 14-point and 12 rebound double-double in his third game, which was the November 22 Puerto Rico Tip-Off semifinal against Florida State.[141] With leading scorer Stauskas sidelined with an injury, the November 29 contest against Coppin State was McGary's first start of the season.[142] On December 3, McGary had 15 points and 14 rebounds against Duke.[143][144] McGary tied his career high with 6 assists as Michigan defeated Houston Baptist by the 54 points on December 7.[145][146] On December 21, McGary sat out against Stanford due to assorted ailments.[147][148] On December 27, McGary announced that he would have back surgery.[149] On January 3, the surgery date was announced as January 7.[150] By March 15, he had progressed to running on hardcourt surfaces, after some time spent running on an underwater treadmill. He was nearing jumping activities.[151] The 2013–14 team advanced to the elite eight round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament before being eliminated by Kentucky on March 30.[152]

Professional career[edit]

2014 NBA Draft[edit]

Following the season, McGary, who had slipped from a projected 2013 first round selection to a projected 2014 second round selection, stated that he had to evaluate whether he was mentally and physically ready to pursue a professional career.[153] McGary and teammates Robinson and Stauskas all submitted evaluation requests to the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee which must respond by April 14, giving the players until April 27 to make themselves eligible for the draft if they so choose.[154] Many in the press felt he should return to "rebuild his draft stock".[155][156][157] Upon learning that he had tested positive for marijuana following the Sweet Sixteen victory over Tennessee and was facing a one-year suspension, McGary declared for the draft,[158] following teammates Stauskas and Robinson who had declared ten days earlier.[159] Of Michigan's prior 14 early NBA draft entrants, 10 were selected in the first round and 3 in the second.[160] McGary was tested 18 days before the NCAA decided to reduce the automatic punishment for marijuana use to a half a season and his appeal for lenience was unsuccessful.[161] During his two years with Michigan, the school enjoyed its winningest two-year stretch in school history marked by a total of 59 wins.[162] McGary signed with sports agent Mark Bartelstein (along with teammate Stauskas).[163][164] Bartelstein is the father of former Michigan teammate Josh Bartelstein, and agent for former teammate Tim Hardaway, Jr.[165] Due to his continuing rehabilitation for his back, it was unclear whether McGary would attend the NBA Draft Combine.[166][167] McGary and Bartlestein decided that McGary should not participate in combines at less than 100%.[168][169]

Oklahoma City Thunder (2014–2016)[edit]

McGary was drafted 21st overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder.[170][171] With teammates Stauskas and Robinson also being drafted, it marked the first time Michigan had at least three draft picks since the 1990 NBA draft.[172] With Burke and Hardaway having been drafted the year before, every player that started in the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship Game was drafted either in the 2013 or 2014 NBA draft.[173]

On July 5, 2014, McGary signed with the Thunder and joined them for the 2014 NBA Summer League.[174][175] On the first possession of his first NBA Summer League game, McGary issued a halfcourt pass for a lob slam dunk by Jeremy Lamb, highlighting the passing that he is known for.[176] On October 8 during training camp, McGary fractured the second metatarsal of his left foot, causing him to be sidelined for an estimated six weeks.[177][178] This occurred three weeks before the team's October 29 season opener and meant McGary was expected to miss the first 14 games of the season.[179][180] After missing the first 14 games, he began to be a limited participant in practices.[181] McGary debuted with the Thunder on December 14 with 4 rebounds and 3 points in 7:15 of play against the Phoenix Suns.[182][183][184] Subsequently, McGary was sidelined for 2–3 weeks with periostitis (inflammation) in his left tibia.[185] He returned from injury on February 2 as he appeared in just his second NBA game in a 104-97 win over the Orlando Magic.[186] On February 8, in his third NBA game, McGary posted a double double with 19 points and 10 rebounds against the Los Angeles Clippers, while energizing the crowd and team.[187][188] Then on February 9, he posted a 17-point, 10-rebound double double against the Denver Nuggets.[189] He was one of the finalists for NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month.[190] On March 13, McGary made his first start against the Minnesota Timberwolves in place of an injured Serge Ibaka,[191] scoring 12 points in 22 minutes.[192] At power forward, his defensive assignment was supposed to have been Kevin Garnett,[193] but Garnett sat out a third consecutive game and was replaced by fellow rookie (and former Michigan State rival) Adreian Payne who had replaced Garnett in the two previous games as well.[192][194][195] McGary had made his first college basketball start against Payne's 2012–13 Michigan State team.[75][76] On March 16, McGary established a new career high by nabbing 11 rebounds in his first 6 minutes of play before going on to post a double double with 13 rebounds and 12 points in 17 minutes against Dallas Mavericks.[196][197] In the April 15 season finale against the Minnesota Timberwolves, McGary posted a season-high 4 blocked shots in just 14:54 of play.[198][199] During his rookie and sophomore seasons, he had multiple assignments with Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder's D-League affiliate.[200][201]

On October 16, 2015, McGary suffered a loose ball collision with Matt Barnes of the Memphis Grizzlies that resulted in concussion-like symptoms.[202][203] On October 21, the Thunder exercised their third-year team option on McGary's rookie scale contract, extending the contract through the 2016–17 season.[204] On October 26, he was cleared for the October 28 season opener.[205] However, McGary did not appear in the game.[206] He went on to play limited minutes in 20 games before leaving the team prior to the end of the season for "personal reasons".[207]

On July 8, 2016, McGary was suspended for five games by the NBA for a failed drug test.[208] Two months later, he was suspended an additional 10 games for non-compliance with the league's drug policy, bringing the number of regular season games he is suspended without pay for to 15.[207] On October 24, 2016, following preseason, McGary was waived by the Thunder.[209] If McGary signs with another NBA team, he can begin serving his 15-game suspension at that time.[210]

Post basketball[edit]

By 2017, he returned to bowling, a sport of his youth and that his mother competed at for 30 years, but still felt more basketball might be in his future.[211]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field goal percentage 3P% 3-point field goal percentage FT% Free throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high

Regular season[edit]

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2014–15Oklahoma City32215.2.533.000.6255.2.4.5.56.3
2015–16Oklahoma City2003.6.478.000.400.9.2.1.11.3
Career52210.7.527.000.5803.5.3.3.34.4

Personal life[edit]

McGary's father is a Chesterton High School alumnus and his mother worked there as the school treasurer.[7] McGary entertains his teammates with rapping on and off the court.[212] McGary's older brother Ryan bought him a unicycle for his 12th birthday and McGary quickly became proficient, eventually delivering newspapers on unicycles with his childhood friend Spencer who had a paper route and also had a unicycle.[213] According to his AAU basketball coach, Wayne Brumm, McGary is said to have thrown a baseball in the mid to high 80 miles per hour range.[213] McGary is an avid skateboarder, with a set of skateboard ramps built by his father in his backyard.[213]

References[edit]

  1. ^"McGary could go directly to the NBA from prep school". Rivals.com. August 16, 2011. Retrieved March 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ ab"McGary Signs NLI to Join Wolverines in 2012–13". MGoBlue.com. CBS Interactive. November 9, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  3. ^ abEstes, Ben (November 3, 2011). "Touted hoops recruit Mitch McGary commits to Michigan". Michigan Daily. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  4. ^ ab"Nation's No. 2 basketball recruit Mitch McGary commits to Michigan". USA Today. November 3, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2011. 
  5. ^ ab

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