Some off to a fast start

This week’s column is about eight prep boys’ basketball players who are off to a good start,
one team that is doing well as the season begins, a former pre girls’ basketball player who left
early for college, and some prep memories.

Courtesy MN Basketball Hub Chet Holmgren

Elite Eight

  • Kendall Blue (East Ridge) 6’6” guard: Scored 15 points in season debut.
  • Jalen Cook (Park Center) 6’4” forward: Scored team-high 22 against Osseo.
  • Donald Ferguson (Osseo) 6’1” guard: Led the way with 30 in win over Osseo.
  • Chet Holmgren (Minnehaha Academy) 7’0” center: The number-one-ranked player in the nation had 26 in season debut.
  • Joshua Strong (Champlain Park) 6’0” guard: Netted a team-high 22 points in a victory over Maple Grove.
  • Xavier White (Hopkins) 6’5” guard: Was the leading scorer with 21 points in a victory over St. Michael-Albertville.
  • Jerome Williams (Minneapolis South) 6’2” guard: Had 18 in season-debut win over conference rival Roosevelt.
  • Jaden Wollmuth (Richfield) 6’5” junior forward: Had 25 in the season-opening win over Fridley.

South St. Paul    

Don’t look now, but South St. Paul’s boys’ basketball team, led by Coach Matt McCollister, is undefeated and ranked number seven in Class 3A.

The Packers are led by the 6’2” junior guard trio of Alonzo Dodd, Devin Newsome and Shaw West-Zimpel, Jr.   

Courtesy U of Nebraska Kendall Coley

Kendall Coley

Coley has joined the University of Nebraska women’s basketball team after graduating from St. Louis Park last month. The 6’2” Coley was one of the best in Minnesota last season, averaging 15.5 points per game at forward.

Her sister Chase Coley played four years at the University of Iowa after a stellar pre career at Minneapolis Washburn.

Courtesy Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tyler Johnson

Tyler Johnson

Johnson, the former Minneapolis North football and basketball star who went on to an outstanding career as a wide receiver at the University of Minnesota, is headed to Super Bowl 2021 after helping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the Green Bay Packers 31-26 in the NFC championship game.

Johnson, a rookie, had 12 receptions averaging 14.1 yards per catch and two touchdowns this season. He had one catch for 16 against Green Bay.

: Photo by Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald Khalid El-Amin

I remember when…

I remember when Juriad Hughes led St. Paul Central past Minneapolis North in the 1988 Twin City game, scoring 31 points.  

I remember when Hopkins guard Jared Nuness (Metro Player of the Year) and Minneapolis North guard Khalid El-Amin (Mr. Basketball) were the state’s premier guards in 1997.

I remember coming to any girls’ or boys’ basketball game and seeing Jim Robinson sitting in the front row.