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Arild Verner Mikkelsen
Position(s) Power forward / Small forward
Jersey #(s) 19
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 235 lb (107 kg)
Born October 21, 1928 (1928-10-21) (age 81)
Fresno, California
Career information
Year(s) 1949–1959
NBA Draft 1949 / Round: n/a / Pick: territorial

Selected by Minneapolis Lakers

College Hamline
Professional team(s)
  • Minneapolis Lakers (1949–1959)
Career stats (NBA and/or ABA)
Points     10,063
Rebound     5,940
Assists     1,515
Stats @
Career highlights and awards
  • 5-time NBA Champions (1949–1954)
  • 4-time All-NBA Second Team (1951–1953, 1955)
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Arild Verner Agerskov "Vern" Mikkelsen (born October 21, 1928) is an American former professional basketball player. He is known best as the NBA's first Power Forward in the 1950s and was known for his tenacious defense.

Mikkelsen was born in Fresno, California and entered Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota on a basketball scholarship at the age of 16. His senior year at Hamline, Mikkelsen was voted an All American in 1949. He would later receive his Masters in Psychology at the University of Minnesota.

Mikkelsen was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 along with his Laker coach John Kundla.

In 2006 Mikkelsen had a biography published on his life by author John Egan titled, The Vern Mikkelsen Story. (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

Mikkelsen teamed with George Mikan and Jim Pollard for the Minneapolis Lakers, forming one of the best frontcourts in basketball history. The Lakers won five NBA titles between 1949 and 1954. Mikkelsen played in six NBA All-Star Games and was named to the All-NBA Second Team four times in his career.

In 2002, during halftime of the Lakers/Timberwolves game, Mikkelsen and fellow HOF team-mates George Mikan, Slater Martin, Arlee Pollard (widow of Jim Pollard), Clyde Lovellette and Coach John Kundla were each presented with championship rings. The pioneer Minneapolis players received the same rings provided by the NBA to the Los Angeles Lakers that same year.

Mikkelsen ended his career after ten seasons in the NBA in 1959 and as one of the NBA's true Iron Men playing in 798 of a possible 800 games. He finished his career with more than 10,000 points scored and led the NBA in personal fouls three straight seasons, still holding the league's infamous title of all-time leader in career disqualifications with 127.

Mikkelsen later coached and was general manager of the Minnesota Pipers of the American Basketball Association.[1]

Mikkelsen is a widower to his wife Jean of 47 years who died in 2002. Mikkelsen has two sons Tom and John.

See also


External links



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