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2014 All-Star Classic summary




Here is snapshot of the 21st Annual Inner City All-Star Classic played at Schoenecker Arena on the University of St. Thomas Campus a couple of weeks ago. The game features some of the metro area’s top graduating girls’ and boys’ basketball players.  

Boys’ game

Team Wisdom — Coach: Larry McKenzie (North ) —Jeff Jones (Minneapolis Washburn), John Sabaski (Prior Lake), Andre Wallace (Eden Prairie), Wheeler Baker (Osseo), Kamali Chambers (Hopkins), Rayeon Williams (St. Paul Central), Markus Taylor Knighten (St. Continue Reading →

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Blue Chip Basketball offers more talented women atheletes a chance to play

After this reporter covered a personal-high three softball games in the same day, which I did two Saturdays ago, covering back-to-back basketball games last Saturday night in downtown Minneapolis was relatively easy as a result.

Ashley Ellis-Milan executed a turnaround lay-up in the lane with a minute to play, and Tamara Moore and Pam January later hit three of four free throws in the Minnesota Black Ice’s 48-44 win over the St. Louis Surge in the nightcap game last Saturday in Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL) action. At least 100 people, including Minnesota Lynx center Janel McCarville, who stayed after the Lynx’s fourth win of the year, watched a very entertaining, though rough in spots, contest. “It was fun,” said Ellis-Milan, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds. “I can play free and play with girls who know what they are doing as well.”

The WBCBL, founded in 2004, is for women age 20 and older, says its website. Continue Reading →

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Three great Minnesota players



When former Minneapolis South girls’ basketball player TAYLER HILL played her first regular season game for the WNBA Washington Mystics last May, the shooting guard, who started four years at Ohio State University, joined a select few of City Conference players to make the transition from college to the league designed to give women the opportunity to play professionally in the United States. TRACY HENDERSON got things started after starring at Patrick Henry (1989-93) and the University of Georgia (1993-1997) by playing for the now-defunct WNBA Cleveland Rockers during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 seasons. This came about after starting at Georgia for four years and leading the Lady Bulldogs to the NCAA Final Four tournaments in 1995 and 1996. She played with Minneapolis North product BRANDI DECKER during her prep career. TAMARA MOORE, another former North player, who went on to play at the University of Wisconsin (1998-2002), started her WNBA career with the Minnesota Lynx and went on to play for six other teams  before calling it quits in 2007. 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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Rosters set for this year’s All-Star Classic


The 20th Annual Inner City All-Star Classic rosters are set. The event, to be held Sunday, June 16 at Schoenecker Arena on the campus of the University of St. Thomas, features some of the top local graduating boys’ and girls’ basketball players in the metro area.  

Girls’ Rosters (tip-off at 3 pm)

Team Faith, coached by FAITH JOHNSON-PATTERSON (DeLaSalle): CHANEL SCOTT (St. Paul Johnson); TAYLOR CUNNINGHAM (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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Inner City All-Star Classic started as single game, now an annual event



The 20th Annual Inner City All-Star Classic is set for Sunday, June 16 on the campus of the University of St. Thomas. The game features some of the top senior girls’ and boys’ basketball players of color in the metro area. The idea started as a one-game protest. Minneapolis Washburn, with AARON BOONE, BYRON SUTTLES, AKEEM CARPENTER, ERIC MINEA and ANDRAE PATTERSON, had just captured the 1994 Class AA title. Continue Reading →

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Tayler Hill moves on up to the big time




Tayler Hill soon will earn her human economy degree from Ohio State. A few weeks ago, she went on a few interviews and last week got her first job offer. “I never have been on a job interview, so I’m not sure exactly how that works,” admitted the Minneapolis native before interviewing for and accepting her first job as a professional basketball player. The Washington Mystics selected her as their first-round pick in this year’s WNBA draft, and she starts her post-college job in May. Hill briefly explained the interview process, which for a WNBA prospect is a lot different than NFL and NBA potential draftees: no 40-yard timings or individual workouts beforehand. Continue Reading →

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Minneapolis’ Tayler Hill is Mystics’ first pick





By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Tayler Hill, the first Minneapolis City Conference player to be a WNBA first-round pick since Tamara Moore in 2002, was among 12 invited prospects to attend Monday’s draft at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. During last week’s pre-draft media conference call, the MSR asked Hill, the 5’-10 Minneapolis South graduate who played her college ball at Ohio State, about any anxiety leading up to the clear possi

bility of hearing her name be called. “I’m a little excited, but I am anxious too at the same time,” she admitted. “I’m trying not to over think it. Whatever team I get drafted to, it’s going to be a blessing.”

That team that drafted Hill Monday night was Washington. Continue Reading →

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Rooney Rule misnamed — should be called Rooney Ruse


The NFL’s Rooney Rule that mandates teams looking for a new head coach to interview at least one Black candidate today resembles a Peanuts comic strip. Team general managers and owners are like Lucy holding the football, and Black coaches are Charlie Browns watching head-coaching jobs perennially snatched from beneath them under the guise of an inclusive interviewing process. Seven recent head-coach job openings — zero Blacks hired. Andy Reid was hired four days after being fired. Former college coach Chip Kelly met with two teams, returned to Oregon, and falsely told his bosses that he was staying put, then bolted off to Philadelphia to replace Reid. Continue Reading →

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