In October of 2019, after a two-year stint with the Windy City Bulls, Mychal Mulder started his career with the Sioux Falls Skyforce. It was a successful stint, as he left as the all-time leading three point shooter in Windy City history.
Little did he know, he would do the same thing in a history-rich franchise like Sioux Falls, four years later.
In 39 games during his first season with the Force, Mulder averaged 17.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and shot 39.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Mulder earned an NBA Call-Up with the Golden State Warriors and signed a multi-year deal with the team.
He then went on to play for the Orlando Magic on a two-way deal for the first half of the 2021-22 season, before coming back to Sioux Falls in the latter half. He finished his season on a two-way contract with the Miami HEAT in March of last season.
Mulder would play in the 2022 NBA Summer League with the HEAT, before returning to Sioux Falls ahead of the 2022-23 season.
“It was an easy, no-brainer choice to come back here,” Mulder said. “ I knew I would be in a good position with a good staff and I knew some of the guys coming in. I knew I was in a good situation to win games and have success across the board.”
Mulder has plays where he reminds you that he is capable of being the most athletic guy on the court. The Windsor, Canada native has earned the nickname on Skyforce social media as ‘Air Canada’ for his jaw dropping dunks.
But there is another aspect of Mulder’s game that makes him incredibly special: his three point shooting.
“Mike’s our shooter,” Head Coach Kasib Powell said. “He’s one of the best shooters in Skyforce history, one of the best shooters in the G League. When he’s making shots, it helps our offense out and stretches the defense, as well.”
During the Showcase Cup portion of the season, Mulder climbed his way into third place all-time in Skyforce three-point makes. It took 66 three-pointers to get there, which was good for fourth in the G League at that time. He was just 13 shy from second place (Carlton McKinney, 278) and 53 shy of being first (Henry James, 318) heading into the regular season.
While everyone was closely eyeing the magical 319 mark, Mulder did not really have an idea of where he ranked until he started making those special milestone numbers in game.
“I heard during a few games that I was moving up the list,” Mulder said. “First I was third, then second, but I never knew how behind I was. I figured over the course of the season that as long as I’m taking the right shots and they are continuing to fall, I would get to that number, whatever it was.”
It only took Mulder four games in the regular season to beat the 278 mark to move into second place - a game against the Texas Legends where Mulder made six threes, scored a team-high 26 points and made the game winning basket with a 1.5 seconds left.
Two weeks later, Mulder had the opportunity to reach the 319 mark to put him solely in first place in three point makes. Ahead of the two game stint with the Lakeland Magic, Mulder needed only seven three-pointers to get there.
“Over the last few weeks, I knew I was getting close,” Mulder said. “I didn’t know how far away I was, but I knew I had the opportunity to do it on our home court and it was exciting for me to get that opportunity for our fans.”
Getting to this point was helped by an incredibly successful month of January for Mulder. Before the January 19 matchup against Lakeland, Mulder led the G League in 3PM in the regular season with 51, 43 of those threes coming in January alone - 11 more than the next player.
“I think my rhythm has been better,” Mulder said. “I think my shot selection has gotten better and we’ve honed in on our offense and been able to execute at a high level. I think I’ve been a lot better over the last month and it’s been helpful for the team.”
The moment for Mulder finally came during game two against the Magic. In the third quarter with 11:14 to go, Mulder cemented his place in Skyforce history with a top of the key three to score his 319th three pointer in a Skyforce jersey.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate being in a really good position here over the last two seasons,” Mulder said. “I have great teammates, great coaches who put me in a position to do that. It’s an honor to be on that list.”
At the half, Mulder was one three away from breaking the record. He called his shot in the locker room and was not going to let the moment be delayed much longer.
“At half, I didn’t know I was only one make away,” Mulder said. “When someone said it to me in the locker room, I asked if I was going to tie it or break it. I had no clue. But when I knew it was to break it, I knew the next shot I took would go in.”
It is not an easy task to become a record setter and have a list of accolades to remember your G League career by. Coach Powell is one of the few to have that type of success and he knows how special this moment is for Mulder.
“It means a lot to get those accolades,” Powell said. “I’ve been able to have accolades here and after, and now I get to share it with one of my players. To see him reach milestones like that is incredible and fun to watch. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
While Mulder is remarkable on the court, his brilliance off the court is almost unheard of. He makes time for fans that love and care for him. He cares about their well-being - keeping in contact through texts, calls and lunch dates.
“Sioux Falls as a community has been super supportive, not just for me but for everyone who has come through here,” Mulder said. “There is a true love for basketball here and we are fortunate to be in that situation. I’ve made a lot of connections through my time here. I’ve met a lot of the fans and had conversations and sit downs with them. I’m so thankful for that. We get a good crowd every game and that’s something that doesn’t happen everywhere. I think it’s extremely important to try and take advantage of that and show my appreciation back to them.”
According to Powell, Mulder is the epitome of a class-act and for him to watch what he does off the court shows his leadership abilities.
“He does things his own way and that makes him special,” Powell said. “Off the court, he is a great guy and a leader for us. He tries to share his love and be positive around the community. He is extremely special and genuine.
Coaching Mike is special,” Powell said. “He has helped me grow through everything. To be able to coach the best shooter in our history is special to me. It couldn’t have happened to a better person or a better guy. I look at this as a special moment for a special player and guy.”
Mulder has plenty of time to make sure the three-point record is out of reach for the next generation who dons a Skyforce jersey. Fans this season have witnessed a special event that is uncertain to happen again any time soon.
However, there is one certainty for sure; there are not many people more deserving of this accomplishment than Mychal Mulder.