As this year's Terps squad gets ready to take the court at Madison Square Garden in search of a tournament championship, a program icon is being honored in part for what he achieved on that same stage.
Former Maryland Terrapin Tom McMillen, who helped lead the school to a 73-17 record during his early-1970s tenure in College Park, is being inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Other members of the Class of 2013 include 1977 national consensus player of the year Marques Johnson of UCLA, coaches Gene Keady and Rollie Massimino, Bob Hopkins of Grambling and contributors George Raveling of Nike and George Killian of FIBA.
A top-rated recruit out of Mansfield, Pennsylvania in 1970, McMillen chose the University of Maryland over Dean Smith and North Carolina, marking one of the earliest recruiting victories in Hall of Fame coach Lefty Driesell's career.
McMillen, a 6'11'' power forward/center, averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds a game for his career, twice being named a first-team All-ACC performer. He was also the most valuable player of the 1972 National Invitation Tournament championship game - a 100-69 victory over Niagara.
“We talk a lot to our team about tradition and pride and what it means to play basketball at Maryland,” said head coach Mark Turgeon in a release. “Tom helped establish those high standards. Before we made it to New York for the NIT semifinals, I told our guys about some of the great players that have graced Madison Square Garden – Tom is one of those players. He helped lead Maryland to the 1972 NIT title and is one of the all-time greats.”
McMillen's amateur career also included an appearance in the 1972 Olympic games as a member of the U.S. team that narrowly lost to Russia in the finals, earning a silver medal that the team refused to accept as a protest against controversial officiating.
Following his time with the Terrapins, McMillen was a 1974 first round pick in both the NBA and ABA drafts, opting to sign with the NBA's Buffalo Braves after one year spent playing in Italy. He would have an 11-year NBA career, playing for the Braves, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, and Washington Bullets.
In 1986, McMillen retired from professional basketball to pursue a career in politics, serving Maryland's Fourth District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 until 1993.
McMillen and the rest of the Class of 2013 will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Sunday, November 24, 2013, at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City as part of a three-day celebration of college basketball.