Kwame McDonald

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Former MSR columnist hailed as ‘quintessential great man’

Kwame McDonald

The Minnesota Coalition of Women in Athletic Leadership has renamed its annual award after the late MSR senior columnist Kwame McDonald. McDonald, who died in 2011, was honored for his longtime coverage of women and girls in sport at the 29th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration February 5 at the Minnesota History Center.

The day was instituted by Congress in 1986 to honor female athletic achievement at all levels. The first celebration took place in 1987 to honor Flo Hyman for her athletic exploits and work for equity in women’s sports. Hyman, a U.S. Olympic volleyball player, received the honor after she died of Marfan’s Syndrome in 1986 while competing in a volleyball tournament in Japan.

“He [McDonald] is another pioneer, another champion in the cause of equity that all of us have benefited from,” said Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to the MSR after his proclamation presentation. “It’s fitting that he is properly being honored today.” Continue Reading →

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Pam Borton discusses her coaching past, her Team Women present, her undetermined future

Except for last year, Pam Borton and I have always had an “exit” interview at season’s end. We resumed our tradition last week, but at a local eatery this time and not in her coaches’ office. “I had 12 great years [as Gopher women’s basketball coach]. Lots of memories. I met a lot of great people, a lot of great staff members and players,” said Borton, who was fired in March after a dozen seasons. Continue Reading →

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2014 All-Star Classic lineup

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 →

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I remember when the community supported us








First in a series


By Lovell Oates

Contributing Writer

On February 7 and 8 there was an African American history celebration held at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Lino Lakes. During the two days there were several prolific and amazing speakers and performers, such as Pastor Arthur Agnew; Portia McClain, professor of African language at the U of M; Tracey Williams-Dillard of the Spokesman Recorder; Barbara Epps, Bush Fellowship ACES; Angela Stewart, gospel singer; Michelle Horovitz of Appetite for Change; and storytellers Mr. and Mrs. Zulu. These speakers and singers delivered a message of knowledge of self and redemption to the lost and misguided men. Also, these very same messages were words of inspiration and affirmation for men that already had knowledge of self and understand their purpose in life. As I sat in the front row being inspired and affirmed, I began to think it has been a very long time since I’ve felt this good while incarcerated, if ever. Continue Reading →

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Top prep hoopsters vie for All-Star Classic honors


The 20th Annual Inner City All-Star Classic (ICASC), a basketball event held at the University of St. Thomas last Sunday, was certainly one to remember. The event featured the top girls and boys prep basketball players from the Class of 2013.  

Girls’ game

SADE CHATMAN (St. Paul Central) led the way with 19 points, (DeLaSalle) added 16, and TAYLOR CUNNIGHAM (St. Continue Reading →

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All-Star Classic girls’ games feature future stars



In 1994, the first Inner City All-Star Classic (ICASC) basketball game was played in the gymnasium of Richard R. Green Central Park Community School in Minneapolis. The game featured the top senior boys’ basketball players of color in the metro area. In 2001, at the urging of late community activist KWAME MCDONALD, a girls’ game was added. McDonald, who passed away in October 2011, felt the game was needed after former Minneapolis North standouts TAMARA MOORE and MAURI HORTON held their own in the boys’ games in 1998 and 1999 respectively. Moore, who was named Ms. Basketball in 1998, starred at Wisconsin before playing in the WNBA for six years. Continue Reading →

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Budding lawyer became educator and top sports official instead


Someone recently told me that people sometime confuse Jimmy Robinson for Jimmy Lee. We asked Jimmy Robinson to talk about his career and help make the distinction clear. The late Jim “Jimmy” Lee, who’s featured on this week’s MSR front page, was among the first local group of Black officials that included Dwight Reed, John Nelson and James Griffin, recalls Robinson, who supervises officials for the Minnesota State High School League. “Jim Lee was a very flamboyant type of official,” says Robinson. “When he made a call, everyone wherever you were knew what the call was, whether it be the people at the scorers’ table, the coaches or the players. Continue Reading →

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U of M honors late MSR senior sportswriter

Kwame McDonald was highly regarded as educator, activist and friend to many

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


The University of Minnesota men’s basketball team honored the late Kwame McDonald during halftime of Sunday’s Gophers-Illinois contest. The MSR senior sports columnist passed away of cancer on October 26, 2011 at age 80. A crowd of 14,625 gave McDonald, veteran Nathan Thomas, and Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Hiram Mann a standing ovation after the team’s public address announcer Dick Jonckowski read aloud each man’s accomplishments during Sunday’s “Celebrate Black History Month” ceremony. “I was so pleased to learn that [Gopher] Athletics wanted to do something for Black History Month, and they wanted to honor these individuals,” said Minnesota Assistant Vice President of Equity and Diversity Rickey Hall. Continue Reading →

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More should be done to honor Kwame McDonald


Why is it that we Blacks must often wait for the shortest month each year to be honored, to get our accomplishments recognized, to get our heritage respected? Why do we often have to be half-past dead to finally get our bouquets? It took one Black History Month and nearly half of another before the Minnesota Golden Gophers publicly honored the late Kwame McDonald, who died in October 2011. The belated recognition came Sunday at halftime of the Minnesota-Illinois men’s basketball game. The Gopher women are expected to offer a similar tribute at this Sunday’s Minnesota-Northwestern contest. Continue Reading →

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