Mikan, George

Mikan, George (Lawrence)

(1924–  ) basketball player; born in Joliet, Ill. He was a three-time All-American at DePaul University (1944–46) before playing center for the Minneapolis Lakers (1948–56), where he averaged 22.6 points per game over nine years. One of the National Basketball Association's first superstars, he led the Lakers to five titles in six years and was instrumental in establishing professional basketball in the U.S.A. In 1967 he became the first commissioner of the American Basketball Association. He was voted "the greatest player in the first half-century" by the Associated Press and was elected to basketball's Hall of Fame in 1959.
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