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Rice Athletics Mourns the Passing of Tommy McGhee

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The Rice athletics family is saddened to learn of the passing of one of its own.

Owl basketball great Tommy McGhee died Wednesday morning in an automobile accident in Peachtree City, Ga. McGhee, originally from Pontiac, Michigan, (Central H.S.) wore number 20 and lettered for Rice from 1993 to 1996.

Tommy's head coach during his Rice playing days, Willis Wilson, remembers McGhee as an exceptional human being.

"Tommy was a special player but even more, a special person," states Wilson. "He was a part of my family, a son to my wife, Vicki and me; one we were so very proud to have in our lives.

"A delight to coach and to be around, Tommy was a great friend and teammate to those he played ball with at Rice. He was a tenacious competitor and one of Rice's all time greatest shooters. A life gone too soon, those who knew him and loved him will miss him dearly."

McGhee was a first team All-Southwest Conference selection in 1996, when he averaged 20.5 points per game (second in the SWC), while leading the league in free throw percentage (82 percent) and in three-point field goal percentage (45 percent).

One of Tommy's finest moments came in Austin when the Owls led wire-to-wire in defeating Texas 80-69 in the 1996 season. In that contest, McGhee, a left-hander, poured in 35 points including six of seven three-pointers. He earned the Billy Wohn Award in 1996, as the team's MVP and concluded his career with 1,154 points.

Rice's hearts and prayers go out to the McGhee family.

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8 Comments

Tommy was one of the best and most likeable players ever to wear the Rice uniform. Sincere condolences to his family and all who knew him.

I am distraught in hearing the news about Tommy. He was a great guy and a great player. I remember him battling it out with Ricky Pierce in the gym. He was amazing. He will be missed by all Owls especially the ones that went to school with him. Enjoy every moment guys.
Jose Cruz Jr.

I am distraught in hearing the news about Tommy. He was a great guy and a great player. I remember him battling it out with Ricky Pierce in the Gym. He was amazing. He will be missed by all Owls especially the ones that went to school with him. Enjoy every moment guys.
Jose Cruz Jr.

I am distraught in hearing the news about Tommy. He was a great guy and a great player. I remember him battling it out with Ricky Pierce in the Gym. He was amazing. He will be missed by all Owls especially the ones that went to school with him. My condolences to his family. Enjoy every moment guys.
Jose Cruz Jr.

I was blessed and honored to have witnessed some of the Tommy McGhee's basketball magic. A tenacious competitor, the heart of a lion and a smile that would light up a room.

I am fortunate to have had Tommy help bring a sense of pride an appreciation for something that has been something very near and dear to my heart. "Rice Basketball." You and your teammate's winning ways helped to make me Proud to be a Rice Owl.

God Bless you Tommy and Thank You!

John Witten
Rice 85'

I knew Tom as a neighbor on Brown College's third floor. I also knew him through my journalistic pursuits as the men's basketball beat writer for the Thresher in 1994-95 and 1995-96. I remember him as a kind, friendly man, and as someone who gave his residential college and university many reasons to be proud. I can't believe that he's gone.

John Fredland, Major, USAF
Rice 1997

Thomas worked with me at Immucor Inc. He was such a delight to work with. He will be remembered by all as a fun loving good guy. I will miss him and will pray for his family.

Tommy and I played AAU basketball in MI from 1989-1992. He was one of my all time favorite people to be around on and off the court. Someone here mentioned his smile as one that could light up a room, it really was. I can close my eyes right now and see Tommy smiling. He was so tough but so kind. His parents were the same way and so proud of Tommy. I have thought about Tommy constantly since hearing about his tragic passing. As sad as it makes me, I still close my eyes and Tommy is smiling at me, just like when we were kids.

Paul Grant
Boston, MA

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