Mikan, George Lawrence (mĭkˈən) [key], 1924–2005, American basketball player, b. Joliet, Ill. After leading De Paul Univ. to the 1945 National Invitational Tournament title and being named All-American three times (1944–46), he played (1948–54, 1955–56) for the Minneapolis Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and led them to five championships from 1949 to 1954. The first dominant "big man" in the NBA and a key figure in the rise of professional basketball, Mikan subsequently became a lawyer and was later (1967–69) the first commissioner of the rival American Basketball Association.
See biography by M. Schumacher (2007).
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