It’s not often that two former metro area athletes with the same last name (no relation) accomplish great things during the same time period. Realizing this provided me the opportunity to acknowledge their accomplishments. These accomplishments are preceded by a question and answer followed by information detailing their contributions and a brief history of each athlete’s connection to the metro area high school scene. One athlete featured is developing into one of the top NCAA Division I sprinters in the nation, while the other is finding his way as a guard in the NBA.
The track phenom
Question: What former metro area girls’ basketball and track and field phenom was recently named Track Athlete of the Week at her Division I school? Continue Reading →
According to DEREK REUBEN, director of the Inner City All-Star Classic, the rosters are set for the annual boys’ and girls’ basketball contests featuring the metro area’s top seniors. Reuben, who was named the state’s Mr. Basketball after an outstanding career at Minneapolis North, started the boys’ game in 1994 with then-teammate and friend RALPH CROWDER. At the urging and persistence of the late community and sports activist KWAME MCDONALD, a girls’ game was added in 2001.
This year’s Inner City All-Star Classic will be held Sunday, June 8, at the University of St. Thomas. Continue Reading →
A Minnesota prep basketball player representing the state in the McDonald’s All-American game, featuring the nation’s top players, is rare. That changed when Apple Valley’s TYUS JONES, REID TRAVIS of DeLaSalle, and Findlay Prep’s RASHAD VAUGHN represented Minnesota in the annual classic last week with the East (with Travis and Vaughn) defeating the West (with Jones) 105-102 before a capacity crowd at the United Center in Chicago, doing the state proud in the process. Jones, a 6’-1” Duke University signee who has won about every prep basketball award the state has to offer, scored seven points and dished out 10 assists. He led Apple Valley to the Class 4A state title last season and was this year’s Mr. Basketball and Metro Player of the Year. Travis, a 6’-8” forward headed to Stanford, scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds for the winners. Continue Reading →
Athletics experts on nurturing strength in women and girls
I have seen over the years some athletes so mentally tough they would run through a wall when asked, get up, dust themselves off and repeat the feat. I’ve also seen some athletes who virtually were wuzzes — couldn’t handle the least bit of pain or saw adversity as higher than the highest mountain to overcome. Here’s the Carly Simon question — I bet you thought the former was a male, and a female the latter (buzzer sounds) — you’re wrong. Unfortunately the perception still exists that female athletes can’t be tough, resilient or competitive, and sometimes that perception is carried by females as well as their male counterparts. The University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center last month co-hosted a day-long Women’s Coaches Symposium February 7 at the school’s football stadium as part of the Women’s and Girls in Sport Week. Continue Reading →
This week’s column features a perennial state boys’ basketball power off to a fast start, a former boys’ basketball state champion and top football prospect playing his final collegiate game, and a former boys’ basketball standout who returned home to face the Timberwolves in an NBA game.
St. Paul Johnson off to a fast start
Defending St. Paul City Conference boys’ basketball champion Johnson got off to a fast start in their season opener, defeating visiting Lakeville South 83-60 before a capacity crowd. PIERRE CONWELL, a 6’-3’ forward, led the way with 26 points, including a powerful two-hand dunk. Continue Reading →
Former Minneapolis South girls’ basketball superstar TAYLER HILL, who recently finished her first season as a guard for the WNBA Washington Mystics, gave a free basketball clinic for girls ages 6-14 at her alma mater a couple of weeks ago. Hill, a 5’-10” guard, is among the most decorated high school players (boy or girl) in Minnesota history. After culminating a five-year varsity career with a Class 4A state championship, Metro Player of the Year,
Gatorade Player of the Year, Associated Press Player of the Year, and Miss Basketball, Hill accepted a scholarship offer from Ohio State University. After a stellar four-year career in which she earned First Team All-Big Ten honors, she was the fourth overall pick in the WNBA draft last spring. Hill comes from quite the basketball family. Continue Reading →
Guards TYUS JONES (Apple Valley), ISAIAH MCKAY (Park Center), JARVIS JOHNSON (DeLaSalle), SACAR ANIM (DeLaSalle), MASON JENSEN (Ballard, Iowa) JAKE LAWSON (Hopkins) and BJORN BROMAN (Lakeview Christian) teamed with post players REID TRAVIS (DeLaSalle), JAMES LAWSON (DeLaSalle), and SAM NEUMAN (Cretin-Derham Hall) to lead the Howard Pulley Panthers to a 79-72 victory over Each 1 Teach 1 to capture the 2013 AAU 17U Super Showcase in Orlando, Florida last Sunday. Behind the guidance of coaches ANTWAN HARRIS, MICHAEL WALKER, JABBAR WASHINGTON and DEDRICK JENKINS and Executive Director RENE PULLEY, the Panthers outshined the competition before a national audience, leaving no doubt that the Twin Cities has some of the top prep basketball talent in the country. Travis, the No. 40-ranked player in the country according to ESPN, led the way with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Jones, ranked No. Continue Reading →
It looks as if the North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) will be the place to watch some exciting basketball this coming winter. The men and women teams at the Division I two-year institution will feature some of the metro area’s top players from the class of 2013. LASHONDRA CURTIS (St. Paul Central), TAMERA CURTIS (St. Paul Central), LOLA HORNE (St. Continue Reading →
The 20th Annual Inner City All-Star Classic rosters are set. The event, to be held Sunday, June 16 at Schoenecker Arena on the campus of the University of St. Thomas, features some of the top local graduating boys’ and girls’ basketball players in the metro area.
Girls’ Rosters (tip-off at 3 pm)
Team Faith, coached by FAITH JOHNSON-PATTERSON (DeLaSalle): CHANEL SCOTT (St. Paul Johnson); TAYLOR CUNNINGHAM (St. Continue Reading →
The 101st boys’ basketball tournament was one to remember. TYUS JONES (Apple Valley), regarded by many as the nations’ top junior prospect, scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in leading the Eagles past Park Center, led by Mr. Basketball finalist QUINTON HOOKER (18 points, nine rebounds), 74-57 to capture their first Class 4A state championship. REID TRAVIS scored 17 points and LUKE SCOTT chipped in 12 as DeLaSalle repeated as Class 3A champs, defeating Austin 50-33. MARCELLUS HAZZARD scored 14 points in leading Minnehaha Academy past Litchfield 56-54 for the Class 2A title, a first for the Redhawks. Maranatha Christian earned runner-up honors in Class 1A, losing to Southwest Minnesota Christian 81-73, despite 24 points from ISAIAH HANSEN, 16 from JOSH GOLDSCHMIDT with a nice floor game, and 14 points from GARRISON GILLARD. Continue Reading →