Former Western Kentucky center Jim McDaniels dies at 69

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) Jim McDaniels, a 7-footer who led Western Kentucky to the NCAA Final Four in 1971 and ranks at or near the top of several statistical categories, has died. He was 69.

The school said McDaniels died Wednesday in Bowling Green. Visitation is Monday in E.A. Diddle Arena at Western with the funeral Tuesday.

Considered one of WKU's greatest athletes, McDaniels was a two-time Ohio Valley Conference player of the year. McDaniels was a consensus All-American during the 1970-71 season while leading the Hilltoppers to third place at the Final Four in Houston.

McDaniels played professionally in the NBA and ABA from 1971-78.

He is tied with Courtney Lee as WKU's career scoring leader with 2,238 points. His 935 field goals, 74 double-doubles and 27.6 points-per-game average remain school records.

McDaniels' retired No. 44 jersey is one of eight hanging in the rafters at Diddle Arena.

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