Mitchell Palmer McDonald

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An outstanding state girls’ basketball tournament

TT Starks

It was quite the state girls’ basketball tournament this past week at the Williams Arena in Minneapolis.

Nia Hollie scored 26 points in leading Hopkins to the Class 4A title by defeating defending champion Eastview 68-60, led by Madison Guebert’s 19 points. Continue Reading →

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Girls’ basketball clinic gets new leader









Twenty-five years ago, LINDA ROBERTS, KATHIE EILAND-MADISON, LISA LISSAMORE, DEB STAMPLEY and PEGGY JACKSON, among others, decided to give back to the community after their outstanding college

basketball careers ended by forming the Shooting Stars Clinics for young girls aspiring to learn about basketball and life. For the past two decades, the clinic focused on providing an affordable, quality clinic that was facilitated by African American women. A few weeks ago the torch was passed from Roberts, the former St. Paul Central girls’ basketball great who went on to become one of the best players to ever play for the University of Minnesota, to another former Gopher standout, CRYSTAL FLINT. Under the direction of Flint, who has been an instructor since 1999, the name of the clinic was changed to the Triple Threatt Basketball Clinic. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota Elite had a successful season

In June I witnessed two fifth-grade AAU teams compete during the Grassroots Alumni AAU All Star Alumni game held at Concordia University. I was there to cover the event, and former Minneapolis Washburn and Concordia University basketball standout ROBERT FINNEY made me aware of the fact that both teams had accomplished quite a bit during the regular season. One of those teams, The Minnesota Elite 5th grade boys’ basketball team, comprised of WILLIE WILSON, TAQUEZ CHATMAN, ROBERT GRACE, TERRANCE KAMARA, CAIDEYN FERRELL, TRE HOLLMAN, JAKE COCHNAUER, MARCUS OWENS, GABE GANZ, CHASE CARTER and TRENT FINNEY, capped off their season by placing fifth at the MYAB Nationals with a 7-1 record. The team achieved success competing at the fifth- and sixth-grade levels. At the sixth-grade level, Minnesota Elite captured top honors at the City of St. Continue Reading →

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Youth camp developed psychological as well as physical agility

JOHNNY ALLEN JR. wants to do something to give back to the community. “I want to help our youth in some kind of way,” said Allen, a former St. Paul Highland Park football star during the mid-1990s. “It was important to me to give something back.”

Well, Allen is already doing that and plans to do even more. While football camps and basketball camps are becoming a regular presence across the metro area, Allen, along with former high-school teammate THETIS WHITE, facilitated an agility camp for youth ages 7-17 recently at Jimmy Lee Recreation Center in St. Continue Reading →

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Youth acquire wide range of skills at hoops camp

Former University of Minnesota men’s basketball standout Clyde Turner recently had his annual basketball camp for youngsters ages 9-16 at the newly constructed Arlington Hills Recreation Center on St. Paul’s East Side. The camp, held from June 23-27, enabled participants to learn the principles of teamwork, discipline, dedication and sportsmanship. Guest speakers were bought in each day to provide participants with life lessons that go beyond basketball. The camp culminated with a well-attended awards ceremony on the final day in which each participant received a medal, others were singled out for individual accomplishments, and camp counselors talked about their experiences and what it means to give back to youth. Continue Reading →

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Top preps return for Grassroots Hoops















There were plenty of hoops at Ganglehoff Center on the campus of Concordia University last Sunday afternoon. Brian Sandifer, a former football and basketball star at St. Agnes during the mid-1980s (he went on to play football at Normandale Community College, Northern Iowa and Southwest State), presented the 3rd annual Grassroots Nation Alumni All Stars Hoops Classic. Grassroots Hoops, created by Sandifer, is a basketball program dedicated to providing academic and athletic opportunities to athletes after they’ve completed their high-school careers. The game featured some of the state’s top former pre-stars who made their marks when playing at the prep level. 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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Girls’ basketball tournament one to remember




















Park Center, led by CAYLA MCMORRIS, MIKAYLA HAYES, DANIELLE SHAUB and ANN SIMONET captured the Class 3A title in dramatic fashion, defeating Marshall 73-71 in three overtimes. Eastview, led by MADISON GUEBERT and HANA METOXEN, came from 12 points down to defeat Bloomington Kennedy, who got outstanding play from KENISHA BELL, TONOIA WADE, TYRAH SPENCER, LASHAYLA WRIGHT-PONDER, ISIEOMA ODOR, ZA’KEEA SA’EED EL and MARIAH ALIPATE, 64-61 to capture the Class 4A title. Eden Prairie, led by JAYLA MAYES-JACKSON and EMMA BOEHM, captured third-place honors in Class 4A. Minneapolis Washburn, led by CHASE COLEY, LUCIA RENIKOFF, ALIYAH WILSON, EMMA SHEPHERD and SOFIE OROZCO, finished fourth in Class 3A in its second consecutive appearance. St. Continue Reading →

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