A 6'9" center/forward from the University of Utah, he was the NCAA scoring leader in the 1961-1962 season with 1,009 points in 26 games (38.8 points per game), a higher one-season average than any previous player except Frank Selvy in the 1953-1954 season. McGill was honored in 2008 as a member of the University of Utah All-Century team.
McGill was selected by the Chicago Zephyrs with the first pick of the 1962 NBA Draft. He played three seasons (1962–65) in the NBA and 2 seasons (1968–70) in the ABA. In his ABA/NBA career, he scored a combined 3,094 points.
His pro basketball career did not bring him wealth or security. By the early 1970s, he was in debt and living on the streets before sportswriter Brad Pye Jr. arranged for McGill to be employed by Hughes Aircraft; that job ended in 1995.