Former St. Paul Johnson basketball players Tavey Shaw-Martin and Deedee Conwell wanted to do something positive to bring awareness to the recent violence that has dominated the Eastside community. With that, the Stop the Violence Basketball Clinic /Alumni Game was born.
“It was important that we do something to let everyone know that positive things are happening in the community,” said Conwell, a member of the 2010 Class 3A state champions who finished with a 32-0 record. “We also wanted to have something positive for our youth.”
Shaw-Martin, who played on the 2009 team that finished third in Class 3A, felt the same way as his former teammate. “We wanted to do something positive on the East Side and at Johnson,” he said.
Their goal was accomplished.
There was a clinic for youth ages 7-13 in which former Johnson players served as counselors, followed by an alumni game. In addition to Conwell and Shaw-Martin, Demetrius Smith (2016), Sammy Ricks (2006), Roosevelt Scott (2010), Maxey Rosenbloom (2010), Quashingm Smith-Pugh (2013), and Jalen Mobley (2015) were among those former St. Paul Johnson players who participated. All played for legendary coach Vern Simmons.
El-Amin comes home to Mpls North
It was recently announced that Khalid El-Amin, the former Minneapolis North basketball star and NCAA champion with the University of Connecticut, has joined Hall of Fame Coach Larry McKenzie’s staff as an assistant.
“It’s a good hire,” North Athletic Director Leo Lewis said of the new addition. “It’s good for the players to interact with someone with his experience and accomplishments,” he continued. “He’s also an alum.” El-Amin, who played on the varsity as an eighth-grader before starting full time as freshman point guard, led the Polars to state championships in 1995,’96 and ’97.
As a sophomore, he led UCONN to the NCAA title in 1999 and recently completed an outstanding professional career in the NBA and overseas.
Carter dominated in track and field at St. Paul Central
Before he made history being elected as St. Paul’s first African American mayor, former St. Paul City Council member Melvin Carter III was one of the state’s top sprinters as a member of St. Paul Central’s track and field team in the mid-1990s under legendary coach Floyd Smaller.
As a senior at the 1997 state meet, Carter was a state champion in the 100, 200, and 400 meters, and placed second in the long jump. From there he went on to start at Florida A&M University before entering the field of politics and earning a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.