Dick Garmaker, a consensus All-America basketball player for the Gophers who went on to play six seasons in the NBA, died Saturday.
Garmaker, who lived in Tulsa, Okla., was 87.
As a senior in the 1954-55 season, the 6-3 shooting guard/forward averaged 24.2 points — the fourth-best single-season average in Gophers history — to earn first-team All-Big Ten and All-America honors. The Gophers, coached by Ozzie Cowles, were 15-7 overall and finished second in the Big Ten with a 10-4 conference record.
As a junior, his first season with the Gophers, Garmaker averaged 21.6 points and became the first Gopher to score more than 400 points in a season. The Gophers team, which included future NBA players Chuck Mencel and Ed Kalafat, was 17-5 overall, 10-4 in the Big Ten (third place).
He scored 1,008 points in 44 games with the Gophers. His 24.8 scoring average in Big Ten games is the best in program history.
He was selected as a territorial pick by the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1955 NBA draft. He spent 4½ seasons with the Lakers before being traded to the New York Knicks midway through the 1959-60 season. He retired in 1961 at age 28 and returned to Minnesota to concentrate on his commercial real estate business.
He was a four-time NBA All-Star, selected every year from 1957 to 1960. He was named second-team All-NBA in 1957 after scoring 16.3 points per game. For his NBA career, he averaged 13.3 points. The Lakers reached the playoffs three times during his four full seasons with the team. He averaged 13.5 points per game in the playoffs.
Garmaker, a Hibbing, Minn., native, was a member of the Hibbing team that reached the state tournament in 1949. He played two seasons for Hibbing Community College before joining the Gophers.
Garmaker, who graduated from the U with a history degree, was named to the Gophers 'M' Club Hall of Fame in 1997 and his jersey number (53) was retired by the Gophers in 2011.
Garmaker relocated to Naples, Fla., in 1979. He moved to Oklahoma in 1990 to be closer to family.
He is survived by his wife, Darlene, and son Stuart. His son Steven died in 2015.