Mac McClung celebrated his birthday Thursday with a second tour in the NBA.
Just one day after playing for the Chicago Bulls’ G League affiliate Windy City, the Bulls announced via social media Thursday they have recalled McClung, a Gate City graduate who was named the VHSL Class 2 player of the year in 2018.
In his only game with Windy City, McClung had 19 points and nine assists Wednesday against the Motor City Cruise.
McClung was assigned to the Windy City G League team by the Bulls on Tuesday after he signed his second 10-day hardship contract with Chicago on New Year’s Day.
The 10-day contract was instituted by the NBA to allow teams to sign players if the team has multiple players under COVID protocol or suffering from other injuries without affecting the teams’ salary caps.
The Bulls signed McClung to his first 10-day contract on Dec. 22. He played in his first game with the team on Dec. 29 against Atlanta.
McClung entered the game against the Hawks at the 2:33 mark of the fourth quarter and went 1-for-1 from the floor, sinking a 16-foot jumper for his first two points in the NBA.
He may get another chance on the floor with the Bulls as early as Friday when Chicago hosts the Washington Wizards.
The Bulls play at Dallas on Sunday and host Detroit on Tuesday.
McClung is the first from Gate City to play in the NBA.
He is the first player from either Northeast Tennessee or Southwest Virginia to appear in an NBA game since Bobby Hogsett (Holston Valley) set foot on the floor on March 16, 1967, for the Detroit Pistons.
McClung is the first Southwest Virginia native to appear and score in the NBA since Jim Palmer of Keokee last played for the New York Knicks on March 8, 1961, against the St. Louis Hawks.
This season has been an eventful one for McClung.
He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers and participated in the Lakers’ preseason training camp earlier this year.
He was then assigned to the Lakers’ G League team in South Bay.
At South Bay, McClung averaged 19.5 points and 6.2 assists per game in 13 games before getting the call from the Bulls last month.
McClung played two seasons with Georgetown and one year at Texas Tech before declaring for the 2021 NBA draft.
He played in 79 games combined at Georgetown and Texas Tech, starting in 78 of them.
During his collegiate career, McClung averaged 14.7 points and 2.2 assists per game.
In high school, McClung was a four-year star for Gate City, in addition to becoming a viral sensation on social media.
In his high school senior year, he scored 1,153 points, a VHSL record, and led the Blue Devils to their only state championship in boys basketball.
In addition to the single-season record for most points in VHSL history, McClung holds the state record for most points in a career with 2,801.