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.

REDD OVERTON (Minneapolis North, 1981): The 6’-5” center led the Polars to the 1980 State crown and a No. 1 ranking going into the tournament as a senior.

BRETT MCNEAL (Minneapolis North, 1985): The 6’-3” guard led the Polars to consecutive Class AA runner-ups in ’84 and ’85 and a surprise state tournament appearance as a sophomore in ’83.

DEREK REUBEN (Minneapolis North, 1988): The 6’-2” guard led the Polars to a Class AA third-place finish in ’86, a USA Today ranking in ’87 and No. 1 state ranking in ’88.

ROBERT MESTAS (Minneapolis Roosevelt, 1985): The 5’-11” guard led the Teddies to a City Conference and Twin Cities championship as a sophomore in ’93 and was among the state’s top point guards the following two seasons.

KHALID EL-AMIN (Minneapolis North, 1997): The 5’-9” point guard led the Polars to three consecutive state championships in ’95, ’96 and ’97, also earning McDonald’s All-American honors.

DARIUS LANE (Totino-Grace, 1998): The 6’-4” guard led the Eagles to a third-place Class 3A finish in ’98, sharing Mr. Basketball with Joel Przybilla (Monticello)

ADAM BOONE (Minnetonka, 1999): The 6’-1” guard led the Skippers to the Class 4A crown.

KRIS HUMPHRIES (Hopkins, 2003): The 6’-8” forward led Hopkins to the 2002 Class 4A championship and runner-up in ’03, and was named to the McDonald’s All-American team.

JORDAN TAYLOR (Benilde-St. Margaret’s, 2008): The 6’-3” guard led the Red Knights to the Class 3A state crown in 2008.

ROYCE WHITE (Hopkins, 2009): the 6’-8” forward  helped DeLaSalle capture the 2006 Class 3A title as a freshman and led the Royals to the Class 4A crown in ’09.

JOE COLEMAN (Hopkins, 2011): The 6’-4” guard helped the Royals capture three consecutive Class 4A crowns from 2009-2011.

SIYANI CHAMBERS (Hopkins, 2012): The 5’-10” guard led the Royals to three consecutive Class 4A crowns in 2009, ’10 and ’11 and a state tournament appearance in ’12.

QUINTON HOOKER (Park Center, 2013): The 6’-0” guard led Park Center and the Pirates to the Class 4A championship game in 2012.

TYUS JONES (Apple Valley, 2014)- The 6’-1” guard led Apple Valley to the Class 4A championship in 2013 and a No. 1 ranking the entire 2013-14 season, playing in the McDonald’s All-American game.


Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to mmcdonald@spokesman-recorder.com.