Michael Thomas “Mike” Gminski (born August 3, 1959) is a retired American college and professional basketball player. He is of Polish descent. In 2003, Mike was inducted into the National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame. Gminski played his high school ball for Masuk High School in Monroe, CT, where he graduated in three years. From there he played four seasons with the Duke Blue Devils, from 1977 to 1980. He led the team in scoring during his junior and senior years. Gminski was named the ACC Rookie of the Year (tied) in 1977, first team All-ACC three years, 1978, 1979, and 1980, and ACC Player of the Year in 1979. He was also named an AP Second Team All-American in 1979 and 1980, and a UPI First Team All-American in 1979 and Second Team All-American in 1980.
At the time of graduation, he was the Duke career leader in points (2,323), rebounds (1,242), and blocked shots (345). As of early 2006, he is seventh all time in the ACC in points and rebounds. He is sixth in blocked shots all-time in the ACC and second in Duke history, respectively. He is also second in Duke career rebounds behind Shelden Williams and fourth in points behind J. J. Redick, Johnny Dawkins, and Christian Laettner. His jersey number ’43’ is retired by the Duke men’s basketball team. In 2002, Gminski was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men’s basketball team as one of the 50 greatest players in Atlantic Coast Conference history.
As of March 28, 2010, he was tied for sixth-most career double-figure scoring games at Duke with Grant Hill, behind Jon Scheyer.
Gminski was drafted in the first round by the New Jersey Nets of the NBA. He played for the Nets from 1981 to 1988. He went on to play with the Philadelphia 76ers, as well as the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks. He wore jersey No 42 throughout his career and only got to wear No 43 (his Duke number) in his final 8 games with the Milwaukee Bucks. He scored 10 points in his final NBA game.
In a remarkable start to the 1990 season, Gminski and teammates made a pact that if the Sixers won 10 in a row, they would each get their ears pierced. When the team pulled off 12 in a row, he, Mahorn and the others were sporting diamond earrings to commemorate the feat.
Gminski was an exceptional free throw shooter, especially compared to other big men (Gminski is 6’11″/2.11 m). During his career, he converted over 84% of his attempts.
Career highlights and awards
Consensus first-team All-American (1979)
Consensus second-team All-American (1980)
ACC Player of the Year (1979)
3× First-team All-ACC (1978–1980)
Career NBA statistics
Points 10,953 (11.7 ppg)
Rebounds 6,480 (6.9 rpg)
Assists 1,203 (1.3 apg)