Teammates, family to be at Mikan memorial

Updated: July 26, 2005, 4:03 PM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Friends and family of late NBA great George Mikan will hold a public memorial service for the sport's first big star on Sunday.

Mikan, who died in Arizona last month at age 80 after a long fight against diabetes and kidney disease, will be honored in a 2 p.m. ceremony at Target Center. It will be held in the lobby next to the statue of his likeness -- taking his trademark hook shot -- that was unveiled at the arena more than four years ago.

Mikan's wife, Pat, will attend with other family members, said Denny Schulstad, a friend of the Mikans and one of the organizers of the event.

Several of Mikan's former teammates from the Minneapolis Lakers, the team he helped lead to five championships, are also expected to be there. Teammate Vern Mikkelsen and coach John Kundla are among the scheduled speakers.

Representatives from the league office and other teams around the NBA will be attending. Miami Heat star Shaquille O'Neal, who offered to pay for Mikan's funeral, is out of the country but will be sending a videotaped message, Schulstad said.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press