Pacers hosting celebration of life for George McGinnis on Jan. 7
The event is free and open to the public on Sunday as the organization honors one of the great players in the storied history of Indiana basketball.
The Indiana Pacers will host a celebration of life for George McGinnis on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Door will open at 1 p.m. and parking is available in the Virginia Avenue garage, which is connected to The Fieldhouse. If you cannot make it, the organization plans to stream it online as well.
McGinnnis passed away on Dec. 14, a week after suffering cardiac arrest and being hospitalized at Community North. He was 73 years old.
A private ceremony was held on Dec. 30 at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
McGinnis — a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer — starred at Washington High School in Indianapolis, and then he went on to play at Indiana University.
He won two ABA championships with the Pacers (1972, 1973) and was voted the 1975 ABA MVP. He was a three-time ABA All-Star and a three-time NBA All-Star.
“George McGinnis was one of my favorite players when I was growing up in high school,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said last month. “Every day we walk in our facilities, we see his number in the rafters, Hall of Fame. His greatness as a player is unquestioned. He’s one of the few guys that was an All-Star in the ABA and the NBA. And his game was among the most unique in history.
“He’s a wonderful, warm, kind man. Got to spend time with him on several occasions. Just want to send our best to the family and hope that they can stay strong through a tough go here.”
The organization last held one of these memorials for Slick Leonard back in May 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic was ongoing (and fans were not yet back at games) so there were rows of two chairs together on the court and attendance was limited to 1,500 — but it was streamed online.
The Pacers have worn a black stripe on their jerseys since McGinnis’ passing. And beginning on Jan. 3 against the Milwaukee Bucks, it also had ‘30’ on it for his uniform number.
He’s one of four players to have his number retired by the franchise (officially on Nov. 2, 1985), along with Roger Brown (35), Daniels (34), and Reggie Miller (31).
In Pacers franchise history, McGinnis ranks seventh in points, ninth in field goals made, seventh in free throws made, fifth in rebounds and fourth in steals. He played in 487 total games with the franchise.