Five Days of List-Mas: NBA players from Minnesota


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Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: The five best NBA players ever to come out of Minnesota.

Tyus Jones, Siyani Chambers and Riley Dearing are all standout basketball recruits who are likely headed to D-I colleges — and possibly beyond. Minnesota has sent its share of school players to the NBA. But who’s been the best? Here’s our list of the five best players from the state to play in the NBA.

5. Myer “Whitey” Skoog

Credentials: A 1944 graduate of Brainerd, Skoog is widely credited with attempting the first-ever jump shot. He went on to play at Minnesota and then the Minneapolis Lakers, winning three NBA titles during his eight-year career.

4. Mark Olberding

Credentials: A 1973 graduate of Melrose, Olberding spent one season at Minnesota before playing in the ABA and later the NBA. He scored more than 8,000 points and pulled down more than 5,000 rebounds and he currently coaches at UT-San Antonio.

3. Devean George

Credentials: A 1995 graduate of Benilde-St. Margaret’s, George spent four years at Division III Augsburg College before being selected with the No. 23 overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers. He won three titles with the Lakers and later played for the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors.

2. Vern Mikkelsen

Credentials: Born in California, Mikkelsen attended school in Askov until enrolling at Hamline University. He was selected in 1949 by the Minneapolis Lakers and went on to win four NBA titles, make six All-Star games and score more than 10,000 points over his 11-year career. He made the Hall of Fame in 1995.

1. Kevin McHale

Credentials: McHale graduated from Hibbing in 1976 and spent four years at Minnesota before being selected with the No. 3 overall pick by the Boston Celtics in 1980. McHale won three NBA titles, made seven All-Star games and was twice named the NBA’s Sixth Man. He made the Hall of Fame in 1999 and currently coaches the Houston Rockets.

Tomorrow: Wild Card! Check back tomorrow to find out what our list is.