Coach inducted into Hall of Fame
It was quite the weekend for North High School in Minneapolis. The football team improved to 11-0 by defeating Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity 40-13 to capture the Class A Section 4 championship last Friday, October 31. For the Polars, it was their fourth state tournament playoff berth in 15 seasons. The next day, North Boys’ Basketball Coach Larry McKenzie became the first African American to be inducted into the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA) Hall of Fame at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Before coming to North, McKenzie coached at Henry, leading the Patriots to four consecutive Class 3A state championships, and at Holy Angels. Continue Reading →
A dominating performance by the defense and explosive play by the offense propelled Minneapolis North to a 44-6 City Conference football victory over Southwest last Friday afternoon. Here is a breakdown of the game.
Wide receiver MALIK MATTHEWS dominated the opening period. The junior nearly scored on the opening kickoff and then caught touchdown passes of 14 and 11 yards from do-it-all quarterback TYLER JOHNSON. Johnson, also a junior, was also involved in a pair of two-point conversion — a pass to senior MARTICE CLARK and a run himself — giving the Polars a 16-0 lead. Continue Reading →
At the conclusion of St. Paul Central’s 52-51 nonconference boys’ basketball victory over Minneapolis North, DEREK REUBEN and JURIAD HUGHES expressed excitement. “The rivalry is back,” said Reuben. “You know I had to come see this game,” said Hughes, smiling. For both, and for the capacity crowd that witnessed the contest, it was a chance to flash back to a time when the mere mention of Minneapolis North playing St. Continue Reading →
This week’s brief column highlights a former high school boys’ basketball star who had an outstanding first year in college and a former Minneapolis City Conference coach returning home — well, sort of.
MARCUS MARSHALL was named Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year in March. Marshall averaged 10.8 points per game for the Missouri State University Bears. While at St. Paul Johnson, the 6-foot-3 guard led the Governors to three consecutive state tournament appearances, winning the class 3A title in 2010, leading them back in 2011, and finishing third in 2012. Continue Reading →
If you listen to the same old pundits, analysts, announcers — self-appointed coaches’ headhunters — who excessively yak about job openings and who should get them, they mostly talk about non-Black candidates. College Basketball Insider’s Jeff Goodman recently listed only 14 Blacks among his list of 77 “potential candidates” for openings, but no Black coaches who have been fired made Goodman’s list. Furthermore, if you’re a fired White coach, seemingly you almost immediately are rehired someplace else. Bruce Weber was hired by Kansas State less than a month after he was fired at Illinois. But Jolette Law (Illinois) and Felisha Legette-Jack (Indiana) both are looking for work after the two Black women head coaches were axed last month. Continue Reading →
There are only 25 Blacks listed on the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) list of state boys’ and girls’ basketball tournament head coaches. Louis Boone, who coached Washburn to the 1994 state boys’ title, is one of 17 Black coaches who have appeared in the 100-year history of state tourneys. Winning the tough-from-top-to-bottom Minneapolis City Conference along the way during that championship season was a great preparation for Washburn’s ultimate state championship run, he admits. “Some of our biggest battles were right in the city,” he remembers. His squad finished 27-1. Continue Reading →