Hill, McKenzie, Robinson inducted into Hall of Fame

Photos courtesy of Facebook/Charles Hallman (l-r) Tayler Hill, Larry McKenzie, and Jim Robinson

Tayler Hill, Larry McKenzie, and Jim Robinson were among 15 inductees in the Minnesota High School Hall of Fame last week before a capacity crowd at the Lumber Exchange Building in downtown Minneapolis.

Hill, a 5’11” guard who was a two-time Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year and 2009 Miss Basketball winner who went on to star at Ohio State University. Hill, who further enjoyed a six-year career in the WNBA, cited a couple of memorable moments from her outstanding high school career.

“The 47 points I scored during our championship game against Centennial [which South won to capture the 2009 Class 4A title] stands out,” she told the audience. “But I will never forget our fans. The Minneapolis South students that came to those games, if I think about high school basketball, I think about those student sections and the crazy support we had.”

Hill also let it be known that the battles with her team’s main rival during those time remain crystal clear. “If I remember anything it’s the battle’s with St. Paul Central in those Twin City games and state championships [2007 and 2008],” she stressed. “I can never forget those games.”

Central defeated South in both games before breaking through against Centennial the third time. Hill concluded her remarks by introducing her very talented family members who have excelled in basketball as well:

Brother P.J. Hill, the point guard from Minneapolis North who played at Ohio State; sisters Tanysha Scott (DeLaSalle, University of Minnesota-Duluth), who coached Roseville to a fourth-place finish in Class 4A competition last month; Morgan Hill (Minneapolis South), who just graduated after four years as a player at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga; Jade Hill (Minneapolis South), who just finished her first freshman season at the University of St. Thomas; Angel Hill (Minnehaha Academy), a guard who led her team to a Class 2A third-place finish last March; and brother Malachi Hill (Minneapolis South), who played for the junior varsity as a seventh-grader.

McKenzie is always recognized for the Class 3A four-peat he accomplished as head coach at Minneapolis Patrick Henry from 2000-2003, but the 21-year veteran also won a couple of Class 2A titles in 2016 and 2017.

Through it all, it wasn’t just the victories and championships that McKenzie highlighted as standout moments during his illustrious coaching career.

“The four-peat was special,” he expressed in his remarks to the audience. “But what was even more special was that my son Lawrence [McKenzie] was a member of all four championship teams. That makes the accomplishment even more memorable.”

Dr. James Robinson accepted for his father Jim Robinson, the officiating pioneer and first African American to referee a boys’ state basketball tournament in 1971, who passed away in 2020 He humorously recalled the one and only time his father officiated one of his games.

“I was nine years old, and he fouled me out pretty quickly,” he said as the room filled with laughter. “He never officiated another game of mine.” Continuing in a more serious tone, he said, “The most important thing he always talked about was mentoring and helping others.”

Others inducted in the Class of 2022—the Hall of Fame’s third—were coach Brian Cosgriff (Hopkins), pioneering girls’ referee and administrator Vicki Davis, Annie Adamczak-Glavan (Moose Lake), Sam Jacobson (Park of Cottage Grove), Terry Kunze (Duluth Central), Mark Landsberger (Mounds View), Kevin Lynch (Bloomington Jefferson), Tom Nordland (Minneapolis Roosevelt), coach Ziggy Quals, Dave Tschimperle (Hopkins), Frank Wachlarowicz (Little Falls), and Barry Wohler (Bird Island-Lake Lillian).