Former Lakers player Jim McMillian has passed away, the Los Angeles Lakers announced Monday.
“Jim was an important part of Lakers history, as a key member of our first championship team in Los Angeles in 1972,” said Lakers President and co-owner Jeanie Buss. “His passing is a sad day for us. On behalf of the entire Lakers family, I’d like to send our condolences to all of Jim’s friends and family.”
McMillian was born in North Carolina and raised in Brooklyn; he became a high school All-American. The center attended Columbia for three years and became the ECAC Sophomore of the Year. McMillian was a three-time All-American and three-time Haggerty Award.
He was drafted to the Lakers in the first round. During his three years in L.A., McMillian aided the franchise to getting their first championship as the Los Angeles Lakers in 1972.