Recent Articles

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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Big week in Twin Cities boys’ basketball








This past week was one to remember in prep boys’ basketball. First I had to choose between two of the top games in the state on Tuesday. That Saturday I ended up attending a Twin City title matchup between upstart Minneapolis North, a dominant program that had recently fell on hard times, and St. Paul Johnson, a perennial power who had made eight state tournament appearances (including the Class 3A state championship in 2010) since 2004. To put everything into perspective, let’s go back to the beginning of the week. Continue Reading →

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Johnson coming on strong — again

As usual, the favorites to contend for the St. Paul City boys’ basketball title are defending champion Johnson and rival St. Paul Central. (By press time, the teams had already met in the first of two contests.) Challenging them are Como Park and Highland Park; also competing are Harding, Humboldt and Washington with some outstanding players in their own right. Since 2004, Johnson, who prior to that had won their only City crown in 1983 (behind the outstanding play of WAYNE ELLIS, MONTE DEBERRY, SCOTT ACKERSON, CHRIS GARRETT, DARRIN CHAPMON, TONY ADKINS and COY NELSON), has owned the conference. Continue Reading →

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A fast start, a final game, and a superstar returns

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 →

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Prep Scene: Faced with a tough choice, I opted for history


Last Thursday evening, I had a choice to make. The top-rated team in Class 3A boys’ basketball, DeLaSalle, was scheduled to play Park Center, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 4A. Across the metro, a girls’ basketball matchup was scheduled between Robbinsdale Cooper, a Class 4A team among the top 20, and DeLaSalle, ranked No. 2 in Class 3A. Continue Reading →

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