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Possibly the Greatest Basketball Jersey Ever

Former ABA and NBA great George McGinnis died on Wednesday at the age of 73. While looking at old photos of McGinnis, Uni Watch reader Derek Linn found this 1968 team portrait of McGinnis and his Washington High teammates in Indianapolis (McGinnis is No. 45). The team was called the Continentals, but neither that name nor the school name appeared on the jerseys. Instead, as you can see, they just had an illustration of a minuteman soldier from George Washington’s Continental Army — sensational! I love the diagonally oriented uni numbers, too.

I was hoping to find some game photos of this uniform. Unfortunately, I came up empty, but I did find another team portrait:

McGinnis also had a signature aesthetic move: the one-handed jump shot. Here’s a gallery showing him executing that sweet maneuver:

Some serious uni goodness in that gallery, too. R.I.P.



Comments (17)

    With the players all wearing odd numbers in the team photos, I’m guessing they had even numbers for their dark (road) jerseys.

    That’s what my 8th grade team did back in ’86. Coincidentally (and quite sadly), that was the year the greatest Minuteman of all time, D Boon passed away.

    That’s interesting. I have never heard of the even/odd number split. Do many high school basketball teams wear even numbers on one jersey and odd ones on the other? Or is this something that high school teams used to do decades ago?

    I played in HS in the early 2000s and we did it. Same with the middle school I played at. Maybe just depends on the schools AD?

    Many high schools and colleges used to do this. Was intended to improve communication between refs and scorer’s table. If you know that home team is wearing evens and road team is wearing odds (or vice-versa), that helps to eliminate ambiguity.

    U of Houston Cougars did it when Akeem played there, I had never seen that (or probably never noticed) before then

    Not sure if this was the case when McGinnis was a Continental, but one of Washington’s school colors today is…purple!

    My junior high team, the Meeker Pioneers, did the odd/even split wearing classic 70’s Marquette untucked uniforms in green and gold. It created an aesthetic dilemma for me then, as I loved the 15 on the road greens but not the 14 on on the home whites. Maybe I Got It back then, or maybe I’ve always just been odd.

    I seem to recall McGinnis also shot his free throws one-handed. Does anyone else recall this? Or maybe I’m just dreaming. Also, here’s the current Washington High School basketball uniform. While the Continental soldier is gone, the wordmark is neat. link

    Continentals is such a great name, still can’t understand why GW didn’t switch to that when dropping Colonials.

    The odd/even number thing – my HS team did it too. I was a smooth 32 at home, a clunky 33 on the road. Never dawned on me the reason – I just assumed my H.S. was was cheap/economizing on numbers. UW always good for an esoteric ort of minutiae. (cue the “more you know” rainbow song)

    Oh – and McGinnis played for my hometown Nuggets. Wore “Beta” sneakers, and I just learned that they were actually called “Bata”. Ugh – even worse. Our pal the ballboy could score us Nugget player shoes, he asked if we wanted some McGinness kicks. “Nah, what else ya got?”

    Never heard of this even/odd home/away numbering, very interesting and practical from a ref’s point of view. My youth team in the early 80s had limitations in order not to confuse the scoring table: 1 was no go (as it would interfere with 1 free throw), 2 was out of order (2 points or 2 free throws), 3 was a no go (3 seconds, 3 point shots did not exist yet in my country) as was 5 (5 second violation) and sometimes 8 (8 second violation). Any number above 18 was a no go in high level competitions, all numbers up to 99 were allowed for lower teams and therefore less talented players. My uniform number was 49… All these limitations have been lifted now, I think even 0 and 00 are allowed on all levels nowadays.

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