One current, two former prep stars contribute to important victories

Jasmine Martin
U of M’s Jasmyn Martin, a former Hopkins standout, sets up a teammate as fellow outside hitter Adanna Rollins (20) and setter Sara Nielsen (3) look on during the Gophers’ 3-0 Big Ten volleyball victory over Nebraska. Photo by Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald

This past week I witnessed St. Paul Johnson running back Rance Jones score twice (one rushing, one interception return) in a Twin Cities Gold football victory over Minneapolis Washburn. I saw former Apple Valley and Howard Pulley standout basketball great Tyus Jones (no relation) score 10 points in the Minnesota Timberwolves home-opening win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. And I watched U of M volleyball and former Hopkins standout Jasmyn Martin help the nationally ranked Gophers defeat Nebraska in Big Ten action.

Here are four more making their mark:

  1. Marcus Marshall, a former basketball standout for St. Paul Johnson who went on to star collegiately at Missouri State and Nevada, was recently drafted in the first round of the 2018 NBA G League draft. In high school, Marshall helped Johnson to three Class AAA state tournament appearances from 2010-2012, winning the title in ’10.
  2. Zach Lofton recently signed a two-way contract with the Detroit Pistons. The former Columbia Heights player, who went undrafted after leading New Mexico State to the NCAA tournament, took advantage of an invite to the NBA Summer League to earn this opportunity. He led Columbia Heights to a runner-up Class AAA in 2011.
  3. Kenisha Bell, a senior shooting guard for the University of Minnesota, was one of the standouts in last week’s inter-squad scrimmage held at William’s Arena. Bell, who starred at Bloomington Kennedy, was All-Big Ten First Team last season.
  4. Jalen Mobley, a junior guard who starred at St. Paul Johnson before moving on to Northeast Community College (Nebraska), is now at Concordia University-St. Paul. Mobley was a two-time all-state player at Johnson, leading the Governors to a runner-up Class AAA finish in 2015.