Magnolia High School will celebrate Jim McCormick Night Saturday, Jan. 28, at the home boys' basketball game between the Blue Eagles and Ravenswood.
McCormick, a resident of Lexington, Ky., will be an honored guest at the game and feted by the Blue Eagle athletic department, Magnolia boys basketball coach Dave Tallman announced. "Jim left his imprint on Magnolia and WVU basketball and is a good ambassador for our school," Tallman said. "He is most deserving of this recognition."
The 1958 graduate of Magnolia is arguably the most honored basketball product of the school. For example, he was a charter honoree for the Magnolia Boosters' Life Achievement Awards and he has been inducted into the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference and West Virginia University Sports Halls of Fame.
After starting four seasons - three varsity and one freshman at WVU - he became the only Blue Eagle product drafted by an NBA team, in the sixth round by the old Cincinnati Royals.
At Magnolia, McCormick played only two varsity seasons, but rewrote the school record book with 55 marks including season points (613) and game average (29.2), which stood for 45 seasons. He scored a record 51 points in one game, which has been tied after five decades. He averaged 22.1 points for his career.
After high school, he prepped for a year at old Greenbrier Military in Lewisburg, W.Va., where he started on an unbeaten post-graduate team composed of several high school all-stars.
He enrolled at WVU as an invited walk-on and was the second leading scorer behind future All-America Rod Thorn on WVU's second-ever unbeaten freshman team.
In the third game of his sophomore season, he became a varsity starter for the rest of his career and, with Thorn, formed a top backcourt which led WVU to three Southern Conference titles and two NCAA Tournament berths.
McCormick averaged double figures all three seasons and scored 1,156 career points which, at the time, was fifth all-time in WVU history behind four All-Americans: Jerry West, Rod Hundley, Mark Workman, and Thorn. McCormick twice earned All-Southern Conference second team and honorable mention All-America. He was selected on the six-player 1956-65 All-Time WVU Team.