Former Bucks coach, Madison native dies at 87

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MILWAUKEE (WMTV) -- Former assistant coach of the Milwaukee Bucks and Madison native Tom Nissalke died Thursday at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Nissalke was born July 7, 1932, in Madison. He coached his way through the high school and college ranks before breaking into the pros as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1968, according to the official website of the Utah Jazz.

From there, he served alongside head coach Larry Costello on the Bucks bench for three years, including the 1971 NBA Championship season.

"We’re grateful for his many contributions to the organization and to the game of basketball. We offer our sympathies to Coach Nissalke’s daughter, son, grandchildren and many friends," according to a statement from the Milwaukee Bucks.

Nissalke was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and dealt with a number of health issues late in his life. Nissalke was preceded in death by his wife Nancy. He is survived by his son Thomas Jr., daughter Holly, and two grandchildren, according to the Utah Jazz website.