Willie Taylor

Recent Articles

Three top coaches

 

There are so many great high school basketball coaches in the state that there are too many to recognize. Here are three basketball coaches who deserve a little recognition for their efforts.    

Since becoming head coach in 2000, VERN SIMMONS has put the St. Paul Johnson boys’ program on the map with eight state tournament appearances (2004, ’06, ’07, ’09, ’10, ’11 and ’12) in the past decade. The Governor’s won the 3A title in 2010. Continue Reading →

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State tournament highlights

 

Wow! What a state tournament. So much that could be written, but only so much space to fill — two three-peats, a historic moment for a coach, another coach leaving the game, and some outstanding prep careers coming to a close. Here are some highlights from the tournament.  

CLASS 3A

FAITH JOHNSON-PATTERSON(DeLaSalle) became the first in state history to coach two different schools to three-peats. Continue Reading →

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Prep Scene — Change of plans worked out nicely

 

Last Friday evening, the plan was to attend an important Classic Suburban Conference girls’ basketball matchup between host Tartan and Richfield. I wanted to see JESSICA JANUARY, Richfield’s leading scorer (headed to DePaul University next year), and Tartan’s TIA ELBERT, a junior guard whose scoring is off the charts with a metro-leading 36.4 points per game. I never made it. I got a call from a friend who made me aware of the fact that her daughter had gone with her middle-school basketball teammates to watch a St. Paul City Conference girls’ contest between Central and Como Park. Continue Reading →

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State championships not the highest goal of coaching

 

 

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 →

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