Recent Articles

Elite Youth Basketball draws notables

The Howard Pulley Panthers 17U boys’ basketball team, led by SACAR ANIM (DeLaSalle), BROCK BERTRAM (Apple Valley), BJORN BROMAN (Lakeview Christian), AMIR COFFEY (Hopkins), JOSH COLLINS (DeLaSalle), ALEX ILLIKAINEN (Grand Rapids), JARVIS JOHNSON (DeLaSalle), SAM NEUMANN (Cretin-Derham Hall), BRADY REINKE (Prairie Seed Academy), JOE ROSGA (Cretin-Derham Hall) and DANIEL PRILLO (Sioux City, IA-North), recently qualified for the Peach Jam tournament in July by posting a 4-1 record at the fourth and final session of the 2014 Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) held at the High Performance Academy in Eagan last weekend. The Panthers, who are coached by ANTWAN HARRIS and DEDRICK JENKINS, defeated the New York Lightning (60-58), Baltimore Elite (77-55), Northwest Express (70-64), and the New York Express (70-64) while losing to King James Shooting (74-70).  


attend EYBL

Here are some people worth a mention who were spotted during the final session. RENE PULLEY — The executive director and CEO of Howard Pulley since 1985 has developed one of the country’s premier AAU programs.

GEORGE RAVELING — The former Washington State, Iowa, USC and Olympic coach, now Nike’s director of international basketball, was the first African American head coach in the PAC 8 Conference. ANFERNEE HARDAWAY — The former Memphis State and NBA All-Star was in Eagan coaching Memphis, Tennessee-based Team Penny. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

A little African American history for you prep sports fans!








Since 1975, 42 individuals in 40 years have been recognized as the state’s best players by being named Mr. Basketball (the honor was shared in 1979 and 1998). Of the 42 winners, 15 (36 percent) are African Americans. Here they are with a brief synopsis of their high school accomplishments. GREG DOWNING (Duluth Central, 1979): The 6’-3” guard led the Trojans to the Class AA state crown his senior year. He shared the award with Randy Bruer of Lake City. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

State well represented in All-American game

A Minnesota prep basketball player representing the state in the McDonald’s All-American game, featuring the nation’s top players, is rare. That changed when Apple Valley’s TYUS JONES, REID TRAVIS of DeLaSalle, and Findlay Prep’s RASHAD VAUGHN represented Minnesota in the annual classic last week with the East (with Travis and Vaughn) defeating  the West (with Jones) 105-102 before a capacity crowd at the United Center in Chicago, doing the state proud in the process. Jones, a 6’-1” Duke University signee who has won about every prep basketball award the state has to offer, scored seven points and dished out 10 assists. He led Apple Valley to the Class 4A state title last season and was this year’s Mr. Basketball and Metro Player of the Year. Travis, a 6’-8” forward headed to Stanford, scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds for the winners. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Had to watch Whitney Young beat Apple Valley on TV








The biggest high school boys’ basketball game of the year, and I couldn’t make it. Parent-teacher conference duties as a social studies teacher at a St. Paul public high school prevented me from attending the Apple Valley-Chicago Whitney Young matchup featuring the nation’s top-ranked player in JAHLIL OKAFOR (Whitney Young) and No. 4-ranked TYUS JONES (Apple Valley). Jones, the No. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Top players take honors, early leads








Minneapolis Washburn running back JEFF JONES, the senior who rushed for 4,668 yards and 92 touchdowns for his career, was recently named Mr. Football. Jones also helped the Millers’ boys’ basketball team capture second-place honors in the Class 3A state tournament in 2011 as a sophomore.  

Hageman captures team honors

Former Washburn football and basketball star RA’SHADE HAGEMAN was a three-time award winner at the Gophers annual team football banquet. Hageman, a defensive lineman recruited as tight end while in high school, captured the Bronko Nagurski Award (MVP), the Carle Eller Award (Outstanding Defensive Player), and Defensive Player of the Year. Hageman also earned First Team All-Big Ten honors. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

NLI signing day for top hoopsters

For former Minneapolis North boys’ basketball standout RICO ALEXANDER, November 12, 2013 was a very special day. It wasn’t only because his daughter, 5-foot-6-inch girls’ basketball standout guard ALEXIS ALEXANDER (Champlin Park), was signing a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to attend South Dakota State University next year. It was also the fact that fellow AAU teammates KENISHA BELL (5’-8” guard, Bloomington Kennedy), CHASE COLEY (6’-3” forward, Minneapolis Washburn), TIA ELBERT (5’-7” guard, Tartan), TONOIA WADE (6’-1” forward, Bloomington Kennedy), and CAYLA MCMORRIS (6’-0 guard, Park Center) were also signing their NLIs. “I watched them develop into some fine ladies,” said Rico Alexander, who coached them in North Tartan’s AAU program. “I’m just so proud of them all.”

Bell, who signed with Marquette, averaged 12 points per game, leading Bloomington Kennedy to a runnerup Class 4A finish last spring. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Top DeLaSalle multi-sport prospect makes his choice

Last year at this time, DeLaSalle forward REID TRAVIS was a two-sport athlete (football-basketball) who had everyone in the state guessing which one he would play in college. Today he is a student athlete who will play basketball next season at one of the top athletic and academic institutions in the country. Entering the 2012-13 hoop season, the then-junior was one of the state’s top football prospects after leading the Islanders to the state playoffs in football at quarterback. As basketball season progressed, however, Travis found himself among the state’s top three Division I prospects along with Apple Valley’s TYUS JONES and Robbinsdale Cooper’s RASHAD VAUGHN. (Vaughn has since transferred to Findlay Prep for his senior season.)

Ooops! Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Pulley draws national attention to Minnesota talent



Guards TYUS JONES (Apple Valley), ISAIAH MCKAY (Park Center), JARVIS JOHNSON (DeLaSalle), SACAR ANIM (DeLaSalle), MASON JENSEN (Ballard, Iowa) JAKE LAWSON (Hopkins) and BJORN BROMAN (Lakeview Christian) teamed with post players REID TRAVIS (DeLaSalle), JAMES LAWSON (DeLaSalle), and SAM NEUMAN (Cretin-Derham Hall) to lead the Howard Pulley Panthers to a 79-72 victory over Each 1 Teach 1 to capture the 2013 AAU 17U Super Showcase in Orlando, Florida last Sunday. Behind the guidance of coaches ANTWAN HARRIS, MICHAEL WALKER, JABBAR WASHINGTON and DEDRICK JENKINS and Executive Director RENE PULLEY, the Panthers outshined the competition before a national audience, leaving no doubt that the Twin Cities has some of the top prep basketball talent in the country. Travis, the No. 40-ranked player in the country according to ESPN, led the way with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Jones, ranked No. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Thank you Tubby for an excellent run! — Tubby Smith: a man of principle and integrity



First things first: we join and support the observations made by our longtime friend Sid Hartman in his columns last week that “Firing Smith would be a big mistake for Gophers.”

Once again, the University of Minnesota (1) showed no class; (2) showed no professionalism; and (3) lied, firing Coach Smith just three months after signing him to a three-year extension. They leaked it to the news media before telling Tubby. They tried to cover with “leaks happen” when it kept secret a year it’s extending the contract of its losing women’s basketball coach. They purposefully attempted to humiliate a great coach, a decent human being, and a recognized high-caliber coach with a national title to his credit. Instead, they humiliated themselves, showed their indecency, and exposed the pettiness of self-centered bureaucrats. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Highlights of a great state boys’ basketball tournament




The 101st boys’ basketball tournament was one to remember. TYUS JONES (Apple Valley), regarded by many as the nations’ top junior prospect, scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in leading the Eagles past Park Center, led by Mr. Basketball finalist QUINTON HOOKER (18 points, nine rebounds), 74-57 to capture their first Class 4A state championship. REID TRAVIS scored 17 points and LUKE SCOTT chipped in 12 as DeLaSalle repeated as Class 3A champs, defeating Austin 50-33. MARCELLUS HAZZARD scored 14 points in leading Minnehaha Academy past Litchfield 56-54 for the Class 2A title, a first for the Redhawks. Maranatha Christian earned runner-up honors in Class 1A, losing to Southwest Minnesota Christian 81-73, despite 24 points from ISAIAH HANSEN, 16 from JOSH GOLDSCHMIDT with a nice floor game, and 14 points from GARRISON GILLARD. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,