INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.–Hoosiers said their final goodbyes to an Indiana basketball legend on Thursday. Mel Daniels played for the Pacers for six seasons and after retiring from the court he worked as an executive for the team. The 71-year-old died unexpectedly last week.
Thursday’s service gave Pacer fans an inside look at just how much the 6 feet, 9 inches, center helped shape the organization. Former coaches, teammates and players traveled thousands of miles to pay their respects to the gentle giant.
“I personally want to thank you for that open door policy, ” said Reggie Miller. “I want to thank you for the last night card games during the play-offs. I want to thank you for those ugly cowboy boots. I want to thank you for your kind soul, but most of all, brother, I will always, always love you.”
Daniels’ family asks that donations in his honor be made to the Dropping Dimes foundation, an organization set up to help former ABA players.