The visitation for WKU Hilltopper Basketball legend Jim McDaniels will take place Monday, Sept. 11 from 1-8 p.m. on John Oldham Court in E.A. Diddle Arena on the campus of WKU.

McDaniels, one of the finest players to ever compete for the program, passed away Wednesday evening in Bowling Green. He was 69.

The 7-foot center from Scottsville, Ky., will be honored Monday on the court where he left a lasting legacy and his No. 44 jersey hangs in the rafters.

The public is welcome to attend Monday’s visitation. Free parking will be available in Parking Structure 2 next to the arena.

McDaniels’ funeral will take place at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Hillvue Heights Church at 3219 Nashville Rd. in Bowling Green. There will also be visitation from 10 a.m. Tuesday until the time of the funeral service at Hillvue Heights.

Following the funeral, the family has chosen cremation in a private ceremony at a later date. J.C. Kirby & Son is handling the arrangements.

The family asks that expressions of sympathy be made in the form of donations to the Jim McDaniels Scholarship Fund at WKU.

Donations can be made by visiting this page:, or they can be sent by mail in care of the College Heights Foundation, 1906 College Heights Blvd., Bowling Green, KY, 42101.

Through this fund that will provide help to deserving students on The Hill, the WKU basketball legend’s memory will live on in perpetuity.

McDaniels finished his WKU career with 2,238 points, which ties for the all-time program record. He also ranks first in WKU history in career field goals (935), career scoring average (27.6 points per game) and double-doubles (74), second in rebounding average (13.1 per game) and field goals attempted (1,763), fourth in total rebounds (1,118) and ninth in made free throws (368).

McDaniels was one of just two WKU All-Americans who were honored as such in each year of their Hilltopper careers. The big man is the only person in WKU Hilltopper Basketball history to be named a first-team All-American by three or more organizations in the same season when six picked him after the 1971 season. And, he is one of just three former Toppers honored as NCAA “consensus” All-Americans. He and Clem Haskins (1967) were first-team consensus picks and Tom Marshall (1954) was a second-team consensus selection.

McDaniels was also named Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year in 1969-70 and 1970-71 and was an All-OVC selection in each of his three varsity seasons.

The Hilltoppers went a combined 62-19 during McDaniels’ time with the program under head coach John Oldham, advancing to the NCAA Tournament in each of his last two years, including a run to a third-place finish in the Final Four in 1971.

McDaniels is one of eight former WKU players to have their jersey retired and hung in the rafters at E.A. Diddle Arena.

Before he arrived on The Hill, McDaniels averaged nearly 40 points per game as a senior at Allen County High School and was named Kentucky Mr. Basketball in 1967.

After his college career ended, he played professionally in both the NBA and ABA from 1971-78.

McDaniels was a charter member of the WKU Athletic Hall of Fame. And, he is a member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, the Dawahares/KHSAA Hall of Fame and the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

McDaniels continued to live in Bowling Green and remained around the Hilltopper program through the years, addressing the team on numerous occasions and coaching a squad of former WKU stars against a team of ex-Kentucky players in an all-star exhibition at Diddle Arena in 2011.

He’s survived by his wife, Carolyn; his sons Shannon, of Charlottesville, Va., and Eskias (Crystal Marie), of Los Angeles; his daughter, Lydia Britton, of Charlotte, N.C.; as well as three sisters, two brothers and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

How to follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Basketball, follow the team’s social media channels, @WKUBasketball on Twitter, @WKUBasketball on Instagram, and WKU Basketball on Facebook.


Zach Greenwell
Associate Director
WKU Athletic Communications/Media Relations