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With basketball being all the local talk these days, it seemed a good time to feature a beloved home-grown favorite.

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Turns out my mom sat next to George McGinnis in her Government class at George Washington High School, so thanks to a “real hip gal,”  (as George called mom in her yearbook) for providing this look back at some high school photos of one of Indy’s all-time favorite basketball players.

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After George Washington High School, McGinnis went on to play at Indiana University and eventually for the Pacers. It’s rare for the success of high school athletics to translate into a life’s work, but people love a local when it does happen.

Do you have a favorite local high school athlete who turned pro? Or do you recall watching George McGinnis play and if so, what stands out to you?

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Most locals have heard of George McGinnis the basketball player, but did you know he also played football?

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5 responses to “Friday Favorite: George McGinnis”

  1. sjudge says:

    but did you know he’s afraid of cats?

  2. Norm Morford says:

    George McGinnis’ wing man is now Athletic Director at Marian Univ. — a great guy.

    Who can remember his name — Steve Downing?

  3. Julie Bush says:

    I grew up on ABA Pacers basketball and loved watching it at the State Fairgrounds (now the Pepsi Coliseum) and watching the team play on WTTV (Channel 4) and listening to games on the radio with my mom and dad. I have almost every original ABA Pacer autograph including Billy Keller, Bot Netolicky, Rick Mount, Mel Daniels, Roger Brown, Darnell Hillman and Big Mac – George McGinnis! My favorite story about Joe is when I was a little girl, my dad and I went to Central Hardware store on Shadeland Avenue (now long gone and an Antique/Thrift mall). We were standing at the checkout lane when I looked way up and saw this very tall man and I tugged on my dad’s shirt and said “Dad, it’s George McGinnis!”. He said “No, it’s not” I replied adamantly, “Yes, it is!” Dad looked him up and down (my dad was only 5’6″ tall) and said “You’re right kiddo!”. I asked my dad to please ask him for his autograph – and he did. My dad said “George, this little girl is one of your biggest fans. Can she have your autograph? When you lose, she cries”, which George replied “She’s not the only one sir. I do, too. Here you go sweetie (gave me a hug and an autograph). Great memory!

  4. Jeff Downer says:

    When I was a kid George lived in Fall Creek Apartments at the same time I did. His parking garage was right by the basketball court where we played he would often stop and shoot around a bit with us. He could knock down that one handed jumper carrying a bag of groceries.

  5. Sharon Sportsman says:

    Norm,

    I am trying to connect with George McGinnis. My mom, Lucille Robertson, and father, Harold Robertson (deceased) knows George and she is turning 100 years old in April and we are wanting to invite George to her birthday party. Do you know how I might be able to reach him or leave information for him to contact me. He also knows my brother, Bud Robertson. You can contact me at sharonsportsman@gmail.com or you can call me at 352-895-9843. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

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