Kenny McFadden was Mr. Basketball in Wellington from the day he arrived in 1982 until the day he died. Kenny McFadden, the American-based NBA superstar, has at long last after fighting for his life for a long time, succumbed to polycystic kidney disease and passed away at the age of 61. Kenny McFadden was a now-retired professional basketball player who had become critical to establishing and teaching New Zealand’s youth professional basketball players during the past four decades. He was known primarily as the mentor and adviser of Kiwi basketball star Steven Adams. Upon relocating to New Zealand from the United States during the early 1980s, Kenny McFadden left a major impression in the National Basketball League (NBA). Only with Wellington Saints, he had won four titles. Subsequently, Kenny McFadden has coached and developed young NBA players, notably assisting Steven Adams in his NBA career.
Who was Kenny McFadden?
Kenny McFadden arrived in New Zealand in 1982 after attending Washington State University in East Lansing, Michigan. He led his old team Wellington Saints to a second-division title in his debut season, then to six consecutive NBL championship games. In 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988, he guided the team to four consecutive victories. With the Saints, he won four NBL championships throughout his days as a professional player. He earned moreover 5000 points in 252 NBL games, averaging 20 points per game. His number 5 jersey was preserved in his remembrance, and it now sits from the walls of the clubhouse as a tribute to his tremendous legacy. Kenny McFadden was also a two-time championship winner, three-time assist champion, and the second-greatest NBL player the year before last.
Tributes paid to Kenny McFadden:
NBA star player Steven Adams hailed Kenny McFadden this afternoon as a paternal figure who, to put it bluntly, altered the course of his life. In an emotional Tweet, Adams wrote, “Kenny McFadden was not just a coach. But a father figure for a lot of us who had the privilege of being coached by him. First impressions of him were always positive because of his contagious smile and swag. I’m one of many who have benefitted from him changing my life. Whether it was academics or on the court. He was always armed with a story or legend to keep me on my path. He will live on through the memories and values he has given us. Thank you for believing in me.”
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