Vern Mikkelsen

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Vern Mikkelsen
Vern Mikkelsen.jpeg
Mikkelsen, circa 1950s
Personal information
Born(1928-10-21)October 21, 1928
Parlier, California
DiedNovember 21, 2013(2013-11-21) (aged 85)
Wayzata, Minnesota
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High schoolAskov (Askov, Minnesota)
CollegeHamline (1945–1949)
BAA draft1949 / Pick: Territorial
Selected by the Minneapolis Lakers
Playing career1949–1959
PositionPower forward / Small forward
Number19
Career history
As player:
19491959Minneapolis Lakers
As coach:
1968–1969Minnesota Pipers
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points10,063 (14.4 ppg)
Rebounds5,940 (9.4 rpg)
Assists1,515 (2.2 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Arild Verner Agerskov Mikkelsen (October 21, 1928 – November 21, 2013) was an American professional basketball player. He was one of the National Basketball Association's first power forwards in the 1950s and was known for his tenacious defense.[1]

Early life[edit]

Mikkelsen was born in Parlier, California and was raised in the Danish-American community of Askov, Minnesota. His father, Michael, was an immigrant from Denmark who became a Lutheran pastor in Askov.[2]

Mikkelsen entered Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota on a basketball scholarship at the age of 16. In his senior year, Mikkelsen led NCAA Division II in field goal percentage.[3] Hamline won the 1949 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament[2] and Mikkelsen was voted an All-American. He would later receive a master's degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Professional basketball[edit]

Mikkelsen played with George Mikan and Jim Pollard in the frontcourt of the Minneapolis Lakers. The Lakers won four NBA titles during Mikkelsen's career.[1] Mikkelsen played in six NBA All-Star Games and was named to the All-NBA Second Team four times in his career.

Mikkelsen ended his career after ten seasons in the NBA in 1959, having played in 699 of a possible 704 regular season games. He led the NBA in both personal fouls and fouling out of games for three straight seasons during his career, and finished his career with 10,063 points scored. Mikkelsen still holds the league record for career games fouling out with 127, which he did in only 631 games (the NBA did not record that statistic until his second season).

Honors and awards[edit]

In 1956, Mikkelsen was inducted into the NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame.[3]

Mikkelsen was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 along with Laker coach John Kundla.[2]

In 2002, during halftime of a Lakers/Timberwolves game, Mikkelsen and fellow Hall of Fame teammates George Mikan, Slater Martin, Arlee Pollard (widow of Jim Pollard), Clyde Lovellette and Coach John Kundla were each presented with championship rings. The Minneapolis players received the same rings provided by the NBA to the champion Los Angeles Lakers that same year.

Coaching[edit]

Mikkelsen later coached and was general manager of the Minnesota Pipers of the American Basketball Association.[4]

Personal life and family[edit]

Mikkelsen's wife Jean died in 2002 after 47 years of marriage. Their two sons are named Tom and John. In 2006 a biography was published by John Egan titled The Vern Mikkelsen Story.

Mikkelsen died on November 21, 2013 in Wayzata, Minnesota surrounded by his family.[5]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes seasons in which Mikkelsen won an NBA championship

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP MPG FG% FT% RPG APG PPG
1949–50 Minneapolis 68 .399 .752 1.8 11.6
1950–51 Minneapolis 64 .402 .676 10.2 2.8 14.1
1951–52 Minneapolis 66 35.5 .419 .761 10.3 2.7 15.3
1952–53 Minneapolis 70 35.2 .435 .752 9.3 2.1 15.0
1953–54 Minneapolis 72 31.2 .374 .742 8.5 1.7 11.1
1954–55 Minneapolis 71 36.0 .422 .747 10.2 2.0 18.7
1955–56 Minneapolis 72 29.2 .386 .804 8.4 2.4 13.4
1956–57 Minneapolis 72 30.5 .377 .807 8.8 1.7 13.7
1957–58 Minneapolis 72 33.2 .410 .786 11.2 2.3 17.3
1958–59 Minneapolis 72 29.7 .390 .806 7.9 2.2 13.8
Career 699 32.5 .403 .766 9.4 2.2 14.4
All-Star 6 18.3 .386 .650 8.7 1.3 11.2

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP MPG FG% FT% RPG APG PPG
1950 Minneapolis 12 .369 .767 1.5 13.0
1951 Minneapolis 7 .406 .660 9.6 2.4 15.6
1952 Minneapolis 13 38.1 .432 .828 8.5 1.5 13.3
1953 Minneapolis 12 33.3 .331 .848 8.7 2.0 12.0
1954 Minneapolis 13 28.8 .459 .861 5.6 1.3 10.2
1955 Minneapolis 7 29.9 .353 .783 11.1 1.9 13.7
1956 Minneapolis 3 30.0 .423 .900 5.7 0.7 13.3
1957 Minneapolis 5 32.4 .398 .647 8.6 3.4 17.6
1959 Minneapolis 13 28.5 .412 .767 7.2 1.8 15.5
Career 85 31.8 .396 .783 8.0 1.8 13.4

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "4-time NBA champion Vern Mikkelsen dies at 85", The Washington Post, November 22, 2013
  2. ^ a b c Goldstein, Richard (November 22, 2013), "Vern Mikkelsen, Hall of Famer Who Won Four Titles With the Lakers, Dies at 85", The New York Times
  3. ^ a b NBA Register: 1986-87 Edition. The Sporting News Publishing Company. 1986. p. 337. ISBN 9780892042272.
  4. ^ Remember the ABA: Pittsburgh/Minnesota Pipers Archived March 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/233011381.html

External links[edit]