Tim McCormick & Mark Harris
Basketball Legends Discuss the Greatest Game Ever Played
November 11, 2020
In March of 1980, a historic high school basketball game was played between two schools whose fates and futures were on the rise. Flint Central vs. Clarkston at Nap Lavoie Field House was one of the seminal games in Flint area history. It featured two schools making big moves on the basketball scene: Flint Central, whose long history of athletic success and dominance had still never led to a Michigan Class A Basketball Championship, and Clarkston who had yet to really make a mark in the high school athletic world.
Both teams were led by superstars. Central with Eric Turner, and Clarkston with Tim McCormick. Both would eventually play together, at the University of Michigan under Flint’s own Bill Freider, with McCormick moving on the NBA afterwards. Turner’s hoops career wouldn’t include the NBA sadly, but few who actually saw him play doubt he was the best high school basketball player in Flint history.
That 1980 Central squad also had another future legend, Mark Harris, AKA “The Iceman”. Like Turner, his career fate would not take him to the NBA despite a Hall of Fame worthy high school and collegiate career. Most who saw him play insist he was the best pure shooter in Flint history. Again, given the quality of the other stars in Flint’s historic galaxy, that might seem an outsized statement - unless you’d seen him in action, for yourself.
McCormick was a unique player in his own right. A 7-footer who could move and shoot. Tough, athletic, and strong, he was a genuine aircraft carrier in Dick Vitale language. His teammates were no slouches either, and as they rolled into Flint for the State Regional match up on that grey and chilly March day, the excitement was unbridled.
When I ran in to Tim at an event, I recognized him immediately. You don’t meet a lot of 7 footers in life, and Tim looks largely the same as he did in his NBA days. I told him “I saw you play in one of the greatest basketball games ever.” He looked at me and said, “You must be from Flint Central.” A big statement coming from a guy who was a college star, last man cut from the 1984 US Olympic team, and played in the NBA against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Dr. J.
Tim talks about that game, his career, and I’m joined later by none other than the Ice Man, Mark Harris.