Mike Storen, a former ABA commissioner and multisport advertising whiz and the daddy of ESPN broadcaster Hannah Storm, died Thursday. He was 84.
Storm stated her father died at Emory College Hospital in Atlanta of issues from most cancers.
Recognized for his hearty chortle and artistic thoughts, Storen rose to govt spots in basketball, soccer, baseball and tennis throughout a four-decade profession in sports activities.
“I nonetheless have a purple, white and blue basketball together with his identify on it,” Storm stated. “All these issues the ABA did — the 3-point shot, cheerleaders, the slam-dunk contest — these had been proper up his alley.”
Storen was basic supervisor of the Indiana Pacers and Kentucky Colonels and president of the Atlanta Hawks. He owned the ABA’s Memphis Sounds with musician Isaac Hayes, labored for the Cincinnati Royals of the NBA and the Houston Astros, and was commissioner of the Continental Basketball Affiliation.
With the Memphis Grizzlies of the World Soccer League, he introduced within the likes of Paul Warfield and Larry Csonka on the sector and Elvis Presley into the seats.
Storen promoted the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston and main indoor tennis tournaments that includes Bjorn Borg in Memphis. His final sports activities job was with the Georgia Power of the Enviornment Soccer League in 2002.
“For me and so many different guys that may not have had an opportunity to proceed taking part in, his affect on the ABA simply gave numerous youngsters and coaches to do one thing they love,” Basketball Corridor of Fame coach and ABA alum Larry Brown stated Thursday night time. “And on the finish of the day, when you think about the contributions a few of these youngsters and coaches made within the NBA after the ABA was completed, it’s simply outstanding. He simply cared concerning the sport and cared concerning the gamers within the league.”
The Pacers additionally paid tribute.
“It’s not possible to overstate the impression Storen had on our franchise and the American Basketball Affiliation,” the crew posted on Twitter.
“He paved the best way for the Pacers’ eventual entry into the NBA by placing collectively a gifted entrance workplace and assembling a roster led by eventual Corridor of Famers Roger Brown and Mel Daniels,” the crew stated, including Storen “was instrumental in selecting the identify ‘Pacers,’ designed the crew’s first brand and selected its blue and gold colours. Storen was the primary captain of the ABA’s flagship franchise and the inspiration for the custom of success the Pacers keep to this present day.”
It was a need advert within the newspaper that began Storen’s professional path. He answered that decision — “with none considerable expertise however with plenty of attraction and gusto,” Storm has stated — for a ticket vendor with the Chicago Zephyrs within the NBA within the early 1960s. He stayed with the crew when it moved and have become the Baltimore Bullets as their promotions director.
Storen finally ascended to grow to be commissioner of the American Basketball Affiliation within the early 1970s. Boosted by stars similar to Julius Erving, Storen helped put in movement the ABA’s transfer towards a merger with the NBA.
Brown stated Storen’s impression on the sport — each then and now — shouldn’t be understated.
“I’d see him occasionally and shoot, I all the time admired him,” Brown stated. That’s the factor that stands out in my thoughts. If you speak to the outdated guys from the ABA, the delight all of us had in being within the league was simply one of the best a part of it. And Mike, to me, championed our league. He made folks conscious it was a particular model of ball with high quality gamers taking part in.”
Tweeted NBA Corridor of Famer Alex English, who began his rise to prominence with the Pacers: “Relaxation In Peace to a different pioneer in sports activities, Mike Storen.”
Storen, from Michigan Metropolis, Indiana, performed freshman soccer at Notre Dame as a defensive again. He later was a U.S. Marine and was concerned with the favored Marine Toys for Tots program.
Storm adopted her father to high school at Notre Dame and, instilled with a love of sports activities, made that her profession path.
“From the time I used to be a child, I used to be all the time round sports activities due to my dad,” Storm stated. “I bear in mind all the time having plenty of very, very tall folks in the home for Thanksgiving or Christmas or events. Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel, Dr. J, so many athletes.”
Storen is survived by spouse Lynn; sons Mark and Duke and daughter Hannah by his first spouse, Hannah; two stepdaughters, Susan Duncan and Lisa Roberts; and 14 grandchildren.
Amongst Storen’s family is main league pitcher Drew Storen.