This week’s column features an outstanding basketball prospect who’s quarterbacking his school’s football team to the Prep Bowl, a running back who did the same for his team, a quarterback who led his team to the state semifinals, four who led their team to an upset victory, and a former prep basketball star who shot the lights out in a recent collegiate contest.
Here are the Fab Five:
1. Grantham Gillard
Two years ago he was an up-and-coming sophomore guard teaming with his senior brother Garrison Gillard (now a sophomore member of the University of Minnesota-Duluth men’s team). Today he is poised to be among the state’s top players, but for now he’s focusing on leading Eden Prairie to a fourth consecutive large-school state football championship as the Eagle’s quarterback. The senior’s 13-yard touchdown run secured a 13-7 victory over Maple Grove last week to earn a spot in the Class 6A Prep Bowl against Totino Grace at TCF Bank Stadium. Continue Reading →
Brian Sandifer’s idea to host a prep boys’ basketball game wasn’t anything new, but his approach was, to say the least, novel. “I felt like there are a lot of kids who get a lot of hype in the metro area,” explains Sandifer, who runs Grassroots Hoops Club, on players who too often virtually get spoiled by coaches and the oft-selective
media. “Some are warranted and some are not warranted” in this regard, he believes. Meanwhile, there are countless others, whatever the reason, who don’t get noticed, displaying their athletic skills under the hoop-followers’ radar so to speak. Sandifer said earlier this summer he joined forces with Stephen McCarthy of the McCarthy Project and MinnesotaHoopstersStandUp’s Aaron Edwards, and the three at first devised a “battle between the classes” format. 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 →