Jon McGlocklin never expected to win an Emmy Award. Why would he?
From the time he could walk, basketball was his gift, his passion, his vehicle to varsity athletics — and ultimately his ticket to college and the NBA.
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Those are for the TV industry. They go to actors, directors, writers, sight and sound technicians, etc.
They don’t go to basketball players.
That is, not unless the basketball player happens to also have a gift for broadcasting. And not just a gift, a special gift.
McGlocklin, he found out after basketball, happens to have such a gift.
He has Emmys to prove it. Three, to be exact.
“I certainly did not ever expect to win one, two or three Emmys,” McGlocklin said. “It never entered my mind.
“However, they are very special to me.”
Renowned nationally as a retired NBA star who won a world championship with the Milwaukee Bucks, McGlocklin is revered regionally in Wisconsin for basketball skills on and off the court.
In 1976, the former Franklin High School star retired from playing after an 11-year pro career — a career that included an All-Star nod in 1969 and an NBA title in 1971.
But McGlocklin, 73, never actually parted ways with the NBA or Milwaukee.
For 40 years, he has been a TV analyst for Bucks games, including the past 30 with play-by-play partner Jim Paschke. McGlocklin, with no formal training whatsover, picked up the vocation immediately after retiring from playing.
He has been a TV fixture in Wisconsin ever since, renowned almost as much for his broadcast skills as for the arcing rainbow jumpers that made him a legend in the state.
With that in mind, it should come as little surprise that among the items on display at the Johnson County Museum of History in a special display honoring McGlocklin’s basketball career is one of his Emmys.
McGlocklin and Paschke have won three Emmys for their work on Fox Sports Wisconsin.
Although he never expected to work in TV, let alone win an Emmy, McGlocklin takes as much pride in his on-air job as he did in the one he performed on the court during his NBA career, including eight seasons with the Bucks.
“My wife tells me to win one more so that each of our four granddaughters can have one,” McGlocklin said. “Sure, just go out and win one more. Ha.”
McGlocklin entered the NBA in 1965 after a four-year career at Indiana University, where he was a teammate of Greenwood natives Tom and Dick Van Arsdale, who also have a special exhibit in the county museum.
Drafted in the third round by the Cincinnati Royals, McGlocklin played two seasons with the Royals and one with the San Diego Rockets before joining the Bucks in 1968. The first player ever signed by Milwaukee, he is still known by one of two nicknames, “The Original Buck” and “Jonny Mac.”
By the time his playing days ended, he tallied 9,169 points, 1,928 rebounds and 2,280 rebounds, and became the first player in Bucks history to have his jersey — No. 14 — retired.
But here’s something really unique about the Franklin native.
He is probably the only player in NBA history to be an All-Star, win a championship and pick up an Emmy. Or rather, Emmys.
“It is a good question,” McGlocklin said when asked if there would be others with that trifecta. “I would guess none.”
His exhibit will be on display in the county museum until July 22. Besides the 2009 Emmy (he also won in 2008 and 2010), other items on loan include his IU letter sweater, his Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame plaque, his NBA All-Star trophy and a Bucks jersey and warm-up top.
About the only thing he couldn’t bring himself to loan was his NBA championship ring. It’s easy to understand why.
“I did not want to leave it there or anywhere,” McGlocklin said. “It could be replaced but would not be the original.”
Like the “Original Buck” himself, some things are simply not replaceable.