Lots of recognition to go around

Courtesy Twitter Tamia Ugass

This week’s column features a girls’ basketball player switching her college commitment, a recent college graduate, a head college basketball coach who himself was an outstanding player in high school, one of the top prep players in the country, and a former prep star who recently signed with a Division I program after playing one season at a junior college.

Ugass to UMKC

With Kim Mulkey taking over as women’s basketball coach at Baylor University, former Roseville basketball star Tamia Ugass, who signed a letter of intent to play at LSU a few months ago, will now play for the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Ugass, a 6’3” forward, averaged 18.3 points per game this year and was seldom under the radar during her prep career.

When Nikki Fargas, who recruited Ugrass, resigned as LSU’s head coach, Ugrass came to the conclusion that it was time to move on.

Courtesy Ball State Ishmael El-Amin

 El-Amin earns degree

Former Hopkins basketball star Ishmael El-Amin recently announced that he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in general studies and a minor in communication studies from Ball State University.

El-Amin, a 6’3” guard, had an outstanding career at Ball State, averaging 10.4 points per game overall and 16.2 points during the 2020-21 season as a senior.

While in high school, he was one of the state’s top players.

Johnson played too

Long before Ben Johnson became the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Minnesota, the DeLaSalle High School alum was one of the state’s best players before going on to an outstanding collegiate career.

The 6’3” guard led the Islanders to back-to-back Class 2A state championships in 1998 and 1999 before playing at Northwestern University for two years and the final two of his career at Minnesota.

You might say Johnson has come full circle.

 Holloman the best

Tre Holloman of Cretin-Derham is making a name for himself as the state’s premier boys’ basketball player in Minnesota and the nation as well.

The 6’1’ guard, who was recently named the Class AAAA Player of the Year, has speed. He has also shown the ability to score when his team needs him to as well as create scoring opportunities for teammates.

Rated by some as one of the top 10 point guards in the country, Holloman, a rising member of the Class of 2022, led the Raiders to a second-place state finish in Class AAAA competition.

 Jones to Buffalo

Curtis Jones, a 6’5” point guard from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, recently signed to play with the University of Buffalo. Jones starred at Minneapolis South High School before transferring to Cretin-Derham Hall for his junior and senior seasons.

He averaged 12.1 points per game and 5.5 assists in this past season. Jones played only one season at Indian Hills.

About Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald

Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist to the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. He can be reached at mcdeezy05@gmail.com.

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