Vern Mikkelson, a Hall of Fame forward for the Minneapolis Lakers, died Thursday at age 85 surrounded by his family at home Wayzata, MN, the Lakers announced.
“Vern was one of the first in a long line of great Lakers players, and a key link to our franchise’s early years in Minnesota,” Lakers president Jeanie Buss said in a statement. “We appreciate his contributions to the Lakers and our legacy, and we send our condolences and best wishes to his family.”
THe Lakers drafted the 6’7″ Mikkelson, who joined another future Hall of Famer in center George Mikan. Mikkelson played all 10 of his seasons with the Lakers, where he became a six-time All-Star and helped them to four NBA championships in (1950, 1952-54). Mikkelson, a Fresno native, played collegiately at Hamline University before his professional career. Mikkelson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 after also serving as coach and general manager of the ABA’s Minnesota Pipers.
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