Terps legend Tom McMillen going into Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday

  • Tom McMillen (back center) starred for Lefty Driesell's Terps in the early 1970s.
Tom McMillen (back center) starred for Lefty Driesell's… (File Photo )
November 21, 2013|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK — Tom McMillen could hardly have been a more highly touted recruit.

"The best high school player in America," read Sports Illustrated's headline in bold lettering on a 1970 cover depicting the 6-foot-11 Mansfield (Pa.) basketball star.

It was a lot to live up to — high school athletes were not normally hyped the way they are today — but McMillen didn't disappoint Maryland or its coach, Lefty Driesell. He averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds in his Terps career.

On Sunday, McMillen — a Rhodes Scholar who went on to play in the NBA and serve in the U.S. House of Representatives — will be among the new inductees into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Mo.

"I'm really proud of him," said Driesell. "Tom said he wanted to be a Rhodes scholar and an All-American basketball player. I said, ‘Tom, you can't do both.' And he did. He should have been there [in the Hall of Fame] a long time ago."

McMillen, now 61, helped lead Maryland to a 73-17 record. He was a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic team that lost to the Soviet Union in the gold-medal game with a memorably controversial finish.

“My days at Maryland were some of the best days of my life,” McMillen said. “This award brings back all those wonderful memories.”

Maryland asked McMillen to appear at Comcast Center during the Terps' game against Oregon State on Sunday. He received an ovation and waved to the crowd.

The Terps have ties to another of the inductees in this year's Hall of Fame class. Former Washington State, Iowa and USC coach George Raveling — who was an assistant at Maryland under Driesell — is going in as a contributor for his role as director of international basketball for Nike.

“When I got the Maryland job, he was the first one I called,” Driesell said.

The other new inductees are former players Marques Johnson, Xavier McDaniel and Bob Hopkins, former coaches Gene Keady and Rollie Massimino, the 1963 Loyola University (Chicago) team, and Gene Killian, former president of the International Basketball Federation.

Elvin Hayes, who had previously been inducted, will also be part of the ceremony.


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