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Vern Mikkelsen, NBA Hall of Famer, dies of cancer

Vern Mikkelsen, the forerunning to the modern-day power forward, died of complications from prostate cancer.
Posted By DANIELLE HAYNES, UPI.com   |   Nov. 23, 2013 at 8:56 PM   |   Comments

Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Vern Mikkelsen, former forward who led the Minneapolis Lakers to four NBA championships in the 1950s died Thursday, his son, Tom, said.

The Hall of Famer died of complications from prostate cancer.

The 6-foot-7, 230-pound forerunner of the modern-day power forward played in Minneapolis for 10 seasons. The team won the NBA championships in 1950, 1952, 1953 and 1954, and he was voted six times to the All-Star team.

Mikkelsen was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995, along with John Kundla, who coached the the Lakers during the championship years.

“We are a laid-back people in Minnesota,” Mikkelsen said at the time of his induction, noting that the induction came 36 years after he retired. “My barber told me my haircuts will still be $11. My wife told me I still have to take out the garbage. Minnesota humble is a state of mind that doesn’t allow for a big head, so I never let myself get worked up about not getting in. Still, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t frustrating.”

Mikkelsen is survived by two sons and two grandchildren.

[The New York Times]

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