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Pete Mickeal Named ABA MVP

April 15, 2002 - American Basketball Association (ABA) - Kansas City Knights News Release

After leading the Kansas City Knights to a 34-5 record and the American Basketball Association (ABA) Championship, forward Pete Mickeal was named the ABA’s Most Valuable Player for the 2001-2002 season. The announcement was made today by ABA C.E.O. Joe Newman.

Mickeal, 24, joined the Knights two weeks into the season as a replacement for Donny Marshall, who signed with the NBA’s New Jersey Nets, and made an immediate impact. The Knights were 26-2 after Mickeal joined the squad. The former University of Cincinnati star led the team and was fifth in the ABA in scoring with an average of 23.4 points per game. He also led the club in field-goal shooting (58.8%) and pulled down 6.7 rebounds per game to rank third on the team. In a victory over the Las Vegas Slam on March 16, he shattered the Knights single-game scoring record with 42 points; the old record was 37.

This past weekend in Las Vegas, Mickeal led the Knights to two victories in the ABA Championship Tournament and the league title. He had 20 points and seven rebounds in the 110-101 semi-final win against the Slam. In the Knights thrilling 118-113 victory over the Southern California Surf in the ABA Championship Game, he fired in a game-high 27 points with 10 rebounds and five assists. He was named the ABA Championship Tournament Most Valuable Player. “When we were looking for someone to take Donny Marshall’s place, I made some calls around the NBA and knew Pete would be a really good player for us,” said Knights head coach Kevin Pritchard. “But he clearly surpassed all my expectations. “Pete is a tough, hard working, hard playing player. He picks up his pale, puts on his hard hat and goes to work every time he steps on the court. There wasn’t one day, one game, one practice that Pete Mickeal didn’t bring his ‘A’ game in terms of effort, desire and will to win. He policed our team. When we were playing bad, he was one of two or three guys who always seemed to step up. He’s a huge part of why we won the championship.” Maurice Carter is another one of those players who always seemed deliver at just the right time. There were no pressure situations for Carter in the Knights 161-138 victory over an ABA All-Star team yesterday at Kemper Arena, but he still seized the spotlight. Carter dazzled the crowd with an array of high-flying dunks and nailed seven three-pointers en route to a game-high 46 points and All-Star Game MVP honors.

Carter averaged 23.1 points per game during the season to rank second on the team and sixth in the league. He also swiped 4.3 rebounds and dished out 2.3 assists per game. He had high scoring games of 37 and 36 points during the regular season. He averaged 24.0 points in the Knights two playoff victories.

“Mo Carter is a big-time player in big-time games,” Pritchard said. “He has been spectacular at times. We beat the Surf in Anaheim and he had 21 in the fourth quarter, and I’ve only seen one other guy have as good a fourth quarter and that was Michael Jordan. He made tough shot after tough shot for us when we needed them most. He just refused to let us lose.”

Mickeal and Carter will join other Knights players, coaches, staff and fans for a Championship Celebration tonight at Oldham at 5th and Walnut in downtown Kansas City at 7:00 p.m. tonight. The public and media are invited to attend.

Note: OurSports Central no longer actively covers the American Basketball Association (ABA) as a professional league due in part to its inability to publish and play a schedule and the transitory nature of many of its teams. For information on professional minor leagues, please see OSC's basketball section.

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