James Ronald McDaniels was born in Scottsville, Kentucky, on April 2, 1948, to James McDaniels and his wife, Sendy Binom McDaniels. His stepfather, Dickie Stovall, helped raise him.  He died in his native Kentucky on September 6 2017.

  Jim McDaniels was a star center who led Western Kentucky University to the N.C.A.A. Final Four but contract disputes right marred his professional career from the start.  He died in his native Kentucky on Wednesday in Bowling Green. He was 69. His wife, Carolyn, said the cause was complications of diabetes.

  Big Jim’s Career

A 6-foot-11 center and power forward with an unusually soft touch for a big man, McDaniels led the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to the most successful years in their program’s history. In his senior year he averaged 29.3 points per game in helping Western Kentucky reach the Final Four of the 1971 N.C.A.A. tournament. Meeting at the Astrodome in Houston, the Hilltoppers lost to Villanova in a semifinal match and beat the other semifinal loser, the University of Kansas, to take third place, their best finish to date.

McDaniels was named All-American that year.  But the next season, after McDaniels had started to play professionally with the Carolina Cougars of the American Basketball Association, the N.C.A.A. found that he had violated college rules by signing professional contracts (with an agent, the team and the league) before the start of his senior season.

After a year in Italy, he played for the Los Angeles Lakers. and the Kentucky Colonels of the A.B.A. He played his last season as a reserve center for the N.B.A.’s Buffalo Braves, which he joined after another year in Europe.

“I’m a player and a very dedicated athlete,” McDaniels told United Press International in 1977. When I leave the game, I want to be able to say that good or bad, I gave 100 percent.”

He retired in 1978 with a career average of 10 points per game and his free throw percentage is 72% the same as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lou Alcindor).  His stats are here.

He graduated in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.  After retiring from basketball, he coached high school basketball and sold cars, a natural interest for the metal ruled Aries Sun.   He married Carolyn Wright in 1990 who survives him.

                                                    The proud Kentuckian

We chose 6 Libra for his Ascendant. that gets the symbol of a “pilgrim sits on a rustic bench and one by one his ideals take shape before him”.   Jones writes that this symbol is one where the native must be on the alert not to fall from his visions but instead continue working throughout his life to keep the lessons of his youth foremost in mind. Neptune in the first house is conjunct, that works well because of his famous “soft” touch with the ball, and with his Sun opposite both in the seventh house tells of the muddles and mistakes by pushing his will too far.

  Indeed, in McDaniels chart  the Sun aspectually is highly prominent, making a connection to all the other planets and points therein, pointing to strong arrogance that did not take direction well — his Sun is in its detriment is in the seventh house that Libra essentially rules so this makes him rather stubborn and hard headed about his standing.  Applying the Regiomontanus house system to his nativity, the problem becomes heightened with  Sagittarius the sign of education, the law and contracts  is intercepted.  Opposite, as all interceptions work in pairs, his Venus, and later his downfall via diabetes, is intercepted where it is exalted in Taurus showing how he just did not trust others and so legal contracts became more of a jousting match than a set of negotiations with  mutually agreed goals.

Hindsight of course is always 20-20, and the resulting T-square in his chart at 05 Cancer does hint that this own father would not be as instrument as a surrogate.  While that midheaven does suggest a “man in an automobile maddened by the lust for speed,” it also highlights his own ambition at being a stellar player, and a desire to create his own destiny.  Trine the Moon at 11 Aquarius 53 shows his innovative and very intuitive way of handling the ball.  Another thing we find in favour of this chart, is that the Midheaven at Cancer finds it’s Lord in the Creative and Gaming House of the Fifth, which in turn is ruled by the softer side of Saturn:  Uranus.

                                                 Splash   Mates

McDaniels has a lot of planets in the House of Friends; basketball is a team sport and this shows how he thrived off the rivalry between team mates on and off court, but it is Pluto  is opposite almost exactly the Moon right on the Eleventh house cusp that intimates how he came alive on the court in front of a cheering crown.  This last point has been raised recently during the Covid arena events, 

jim mcdaniels.png

with players saying they miss the cheers, and the jeers, of fans that help them keep their concentration.

Mr. McDaniels is a Splash Temperament type with the maximum of two conjunctions — Pluto to Saturn and Saturn to Mars — that because of their close proximity, is also  Translation of Light giving that aspect extra significance.  It is a powerful trio, highlighting the Eleventh House of fans and publicity and shows us how his fans loved him and how he felt indebted to them in kind.  This debt was fulfilled by his hard work, and total dedication to his game as well as learning more about basketball off the court (Mercury 21.45 in the Sixth).

The one problem  here is Mars is not near the ascendant as Monsieur Gauquelin preferred, and also in the eleventh house.  We will be reading and studying more about those requirements updating the chart, as we rectified it, as needed.


  On a personal note, when I saw McDaniel’s obit in the Times, I immediately snagged it,  because my cousin Nick played ball at University of Kentucky way back then and mentioned  McDaniels as the “next big thing.”  Funny how many years later those things come back to you.

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