May 8, 1951: Mike D’Antoni Born in Mullens

May 8, 2019

Credit Matt Hickey / WV Encyclopedia

Mike D’Antoni was born in Mullens in Wyoming County on May 8, 1951. He was a basketball star at Mullens High School and Marshall University and went on to a pro career with the NBA Kansas City-Omaha Kings and San Antonio Spurs and with the Spirits of St. Louis in the American Basketball Association. He then had 13 great seasons with Olimpia Milano in Italy, where he was a local hero, not only due to his court skills but because his grandfather had emigrated to the United States from Italy in 1908.

D’Antoni came back to the United States and coached the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Lakers and twice took the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Western Conference finals. He now coaches the Houston Rockets.

Mike’s brother Dan also was a basketball star at Mullens and Marshall and, in 2014, became Marshall’s men’s basketball coach.

Their father, Lewis, paved the way, starring as a point guard at Mullens before playing at Concord College (now University) and then coaching basketball at Pineville and Mullens high schools and in Ohio, winning 450 games.