PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Former Penn basketball player and coach died Thursday at the age of 91. He died in Savannah, Georgia and was fighting Alzheimer’s disease.
McCloskey played at the University of Pennsylvania, served in World War II with the U.S. Marines, and played one game in the NBA for the Philadelphia Warriors in the 1952-53 season. He served as head basketball coach at Penn from 1956 to 1966.
McCloskey was also the general manager who built the Detroit Pistons’ “Bad Boys” championship team.
Known as “Trader Jack,” McCloskey helped guide Detroit to nine straight playoff appearances, five Eastern Conference Finals in a row, and three NBA Finals. He was honored in 2008 with a retirement ceremony, where his name was lifted to the rafters.
He was Penn’s head coach from 1956-66, coached Wake Forest from 1966-72, and was the Portland Trail Blazers’ coach from 1972-74, going 48-116. He was an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers until taking the Pistons’ job, and also worked for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors.
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