James M. “Jim” McMillian was born on March 11, 1948, in Raeford, North Carolina and died on May 16, 2016.
He was an American professional basketball player.
He started out at Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, McMillian played college basketball at Columbia University.
Jim led Columbia to a three-year mark of 63-14, and their last NCAA Tournament appearance in 1968, his sophomore year.
His toured 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.
Known as “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.
Jim McMillian scored 1758 career points than a record, now second and averaged 22.9 points per game second-best then and now.
Jim McMillian was also second in career rebounds (743) and holds the season records for field goals in a season (253) and career (677).
However, notwithstanding 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.
He stood at 6’5″ 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.
Jim McMillian chose the Lakers and spent three years there, scoring 3714 points, an average of 15.3 per game.
During 1972, Jim McMillian helped lead the Lakers to an NBA Championship, averaging 19.1 points per game in the playoffs.
Jim McMillian was a key factor in the Lakers’ record-setting 33-game win streak that season.
This was his second season that year, replaced Elgin Baylor at forward and the team immediately launched their streak.
When he the retirement of Wilt Chamberlain, the Lakers needed a center and traded McMillian to the Buffalo Braves for Elmore Smith.
Jim McMillian played for the New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers.
At the end of his career, Jim McMillian moved to Italy and played for Sinudyne Bologna for two seasons.
Jim McMillian passed away at 68 yrs old.