Indiana Pacers great George McGinnis, a key figure in basketball history, passed away at the age of 73 due to complications from a cardiac arrest suffered last week at his home. McGinnis, a 1969 Indiana Mr. Basketball, achieved a remarkable career, leading Indianapolis Washington High School to an undefeated state championship and later dominating both the ABA and NBA.
McGinnis’ impact was felt from his high school days, where he won the coveted Mr. Basketball Award, to his time as an IU All-American, and his legendary ABA championship runs with the Pacers. His towering presence at 6-8, 235 pounds, defined the power forward position, and he was a force to be reckoned with on the court.
A two-time ABA champion and three-time All-Star, McGinnis played a pivotal role in the success of the Pacers, contributing to two of their three ABA championships. His remarkable performance in the 1975 ABA playoffs, averaging 32.3 points, 15.9 rebounds, and 8.2 assists, showcased his exceptional skills.
McGinnis continued his illustrious career in the NBA, earning two All-Star nominations with the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite severe back issues later in life, McGinnis remained affable, approachable, and immensely loyal to his friends, teammates, and coach Bobby “Slick” Leonard. His impact extended beyond the court, as he successfully ran GM Supply, a wholesale industrial supply firm.
The Pacers retired McGinnis’ jersey – No. 30 – in recognition of his significant contributions. In 2017, he was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame. McGinnis is survived by his sister, Bonnie.
A private burial will be held, with a celebration of life scheduled at Gainbridge Fieldhouse after the first of the year. The Simon Family and Pacers Sports & Entertainment released a statement, remembering McGinnis as an Indiana basketball legend, champion, and Hall of Fame athlete, emphasizing his role as family and passionate advocate for fellow ABA players.