Former Ute Arnie Ferrin Recounts His Three Successful Seasons With Minneapolis Lakers

Jun 14, 2020, 3:19 PM | Updated: Jun 15, 2020, 10:35 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah basketball legend Arnie Ferrin looked back on his three seasons with the Minneapolis Lakers that included two NBA championships.

Ferrin was a four-time All-American while leading the Utes to an NIT and NCAA Championship.

When his historic college career was over at Utah, he spent some time in the NBA with the Minneapolis Lakers. Ferrin sat down with KSL Sports’ Jeremiah Jensen to look back on his NBA career.

Almost Didn’t Play In NBA

When Ferrin was a basketball star for the University of Utah, the NBA was just getting started. But, when his college career was over, he didn’t have a lot of interest in playing at the next level.

“The average player made five or six thousand dollars,” Ferrin told Jensen. “You can make that much money in Utah.”

Ferrin was drafted by the Lakers in the Basketball Association of American (BAA).

“My wife and I prayed a lot and I came to the conclusion that if you want to play and be on a team, you can play,” Ferrin said. “So, I went back (to the Lakers) and said to them ‘where do you see me playing on your Lakers team?’ They said ‘well, you are 6’4, who could play small forward and guard so there are two opportunities for you.’ So, I told my wife to go home and move us.”

Playing With NBA Legend George Mikan

When Ferrin decided to play in the NBA with the Minneapolis Lakers, he had the opportunity to play with legend George Mikan. But, Ferrin had a hard time fitting in with the Lakers.

“George Mikan was a dominant player at that time,” Ferrin said. “He lived in a hotel in downtown Minneapolis and four of the players were his friends. All of a sudden, if I make the team, one of George’s friends is going to get cut. I did not see the basketball ever. When I would take it out of bounds, I would throw it in and never see it again because no one would pass it to me.”

Ferrin had an opportunity to prove himself when a member of the team suffered an injury.

“I got to start,” Ferrin mentioned. “I scored 22 points. Then I started after that.”

After three seasons with the Lakers, Ferrin won two NBA championships in 1949 and 1950.

Ferrin retired from basketball after that stint with the Lakers.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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