Kevin McHale, who grew up in an area known for producing hockey players, went on to become the top basketball player produced in Minnesota.
The Hibbing, Minnesota native was blessed with size, long arms (a wingspan of 8 feet), an exceptional shooting touch and great timing, which helped the 6-foot-10 power forward become one of the top players in NBA history.
In 1975, as a high school junior, McHale helped the Hibbing Bluejackets reach the state basketball tournament for the first time in 18 years. A year later, the Bluejackets returned to the state tournament and reached the Class 2A championship game. Following the season, McHale was named Minnesota's Mr. Basketball.
In the fall of 1976, McHale enrolled at the University of Minnesota. Over the next four seasons, he averaged 15.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for the Gophers. He earned All-Big Ten Conference honors in 1979 and 1980. In 1995, he was named the top player in the history of University of Minnesota men's basketball. The University has retired his jersey number (No. 44).
In June of 1980, McHale was selected in the first round (third overall) of the NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. Over the next 13 seasons, he would play on three NBA championship teams and be part of what many observers consider the NBA's best-ever frontline combination with small forward Larry Bird and center Robert Parish.
In the first five seasons of his NBA career, he primarily was a reserve. He was named to the league's All-Rookie team in 1981 and he earned the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1984 and 1985. Between 1984 and 1991, he played in seven NBA All-Star games and he was named first-team All-NBA in 1987 and to the NBA All-Defensive team three times.
He retired following the 1992-93 season. In January of 1994, the Celtics retired his jersey (No. 32).
After retiring, McHale joined the Minnesota Timberwolves as a television analyst and special assistant. In the summer of 1994, he was promoted to Assistant General Manager. In 1995, he was promoted to Vice President of Basketball Operations. Among the moves he made in his first year in that position was to draft Kevin Garnett in the first round of the 1995 NBA draft and to name Flip Saunders as the Timberwolves coach.
McHale eventually had two stints as the Timberwolves coach before coach the Houston Rockets from 2011-2015.
In 1996, McHale was named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players and was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary Team. Three years later, McHale was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Teams: Hibbing High School, Gophers