MacCulloch welcomes honour

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

The pain in his feet when he wakes up every morning still reminds him of what might have been.

Todd MacCulloch of Shaftesbury High School made the unlikely jump to the NBA where he played for both the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Nets. But a rare disease that invaded his feet ended the Winnipeg's pro basketball days prematurely.

"I still think about it all the time," MacCulloch said from his Seattle-area home yesterday. "I wish I was still playing. I played with some great players and really enjoyed being around them. I wish I could have spent more years with the teams. And I wish I could not have been injured.

"They're a little better now but they still hurt when I first wake up. But I've come to the realization that's just the way they are now."

Special memory

MacCulloch was one of three players who were announced as the latest inductees to the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame.

"That feels great," said MacCulloch, who plans to attend the induction dinner in October. "It's really nice to be inducted in my home province. It's quite an accomplishment and I'm really honoured to be recognized."

While playing in back-to-back NBA finals with two different teams will remain a special memory for MacCulloch, there is another one that actually beats that.

"Winning the provincial championship when I was in Grade 11," he recalled. "We were playing Miles Mac and we beat them 61-59, and I scored 50 points. I was so happy that we won that it was like an out-of-body experience. I've been trying to get that feeling back ever since. But I've never been able to recapture that feeling, maybe because it was my first championship."

MacCulloch spent five years being the colour man on 76ers broadcasts until the team eliminated the position last season. He now works as a sports analyst for FOX and still competes in pinball. In fact, he will be one of two Canadians who will compete at the European championship in England this summer.

MacCulloch currently lives on Bainbridge Island with his wife and 15-month-old daughter, Carmen. Despite the problems with his feet, he will still struggle through nine holes of golf but uses a cart.

"I have a 19 handicap for nine holes," he joked.


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