Birthdate: July 29, 1938
Birthplace: Gallipolis, OH
High School: Gallipolis (Ohio) Gallia Academy High School (1956)
College: Marshall University (1956-60)
Died: March 15, 2023
Year Inducted: 2023
It’s not hyperbole to label John Milhoan as a local legend. Ask anyone who is familiar with the Gallipolis native and they will tell you as much.
A 6-4 forward with a silky shooting touch during his playing days, Milhoan remains one of the all-time best players from southern Ohio. He set a plethora of records at Gallia Academy High School and in 2016 school officials there honored his achievements by retiring his No. 38 jersey and hoisting it into the rafters of the gymnasium.
He set a school mark by scoring 714 points in the 1955-56 season, including 204 foul shots in 245 attempts (84.5 percent), and added a record 473 rebounds. In one particularly memorable game that season against Logan, he totaled 24 baskets and 63 points – still a school record.
Milhoan also was a pure star at Marshall and was inducted into the MU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986. He amassed 1,222 points in his career with the Thundering Herd and
Twice he received All-Mid-American Conference honors.
As a sophomore, he was a member of a team that included fellow Marshall Hall of Famers Sonny Allen, Leo Byrd, Jack Freeman and Hal Greer and led the nation in scoring with an average of 88.2 points per game. That season, Milhoan made 63 of 69 free-throw attempts for a 91.3-percent rate that still stands as the best single-season mark in school history.
That set the tone for his two All-MAC seasons and a senior campaign that saw him average 23.3 points per game. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Royals in the 1960 NBA draft, but instead returned to his hometown and Gallia Academy, where he was a teacher for more than 30 years, a highly successful golf coach and was a fierce supporter of the school’s athletic programs.
John Milhoan enters the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame posthumously; he died on March 10, 2023 at the age of 84.