Sports odds and ends
The U of M’s M Club will on Sept. 16 induct 13 new Hall of Fame members at a Friday evening in-person ceremony on the Williams Arena court. Three persons of color are in the 2022 class: Clyde Turner (posthumously), Ron Johnson and Paula Gentil.
Clyde Turner (basketball, 1971-73) was an integral part of the 1972 Big Ten Championship team and was named a first team All-Big Ten that season. Turner was a part of Minnesota’s first conference title since 1937, and the first outright title since 1919.
He played in a total of 51 games and led the Gophers in scoring both seasons, where he averaged over 18 points a game. He also made second team all-conference in 1973 and now ranks eighth all-time in career scoring average per game (18.4 ppg). Turner passed away on August 9, 2022.
After Minnesota, Turner was a fourth-round draft pick of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1973, and later played professionally in Europe for two seasons. He earned two degrees from the U of M and became a community staple as a youth advocate for over four decades.
Ron Johnson (football, 1998-2001) was a staple on the Minnesota football team. He set school records in receiving yards (2,989), receptions (198), and receiving touchdowns (31). A 2000 All-Big Ten first-teamer, Johnson tied an NCAA record with a reception in 46 straight games. That same season she set school records for receiving TDs (11) and receiving yards (1,125).
During his Gopher years, Johnson recorded eight 100-yard receiving games and led Minnesota in receptions and receiving yards for three seasons. He also set a school record with seven straight games with a receiving touchdown.
Johnson was drafted by Baltimore in 2002 in the fourth round and played there 2002-04. Overall, he played professionally 2002-08.
Paula Gentil (volleyball, 2005-08) was Minnesota’s first-ever designated libero under the late coach Mike Hebert. She still is one of the best to compete with the Gophers. The three-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year was also the school’s first-ever three-time All-American in U of M’s history.
The 2022 M Club HOF class will be recognized at various events throughout this weekend, including Saturday’s Gophers-Colorado football game.
Rhodes’ super cool experience
The MSR has been following St. Catherine golfer Jaycee Rhodes, now in her junior year, since she became a college student a couple of years ago. The Eastview High School grad and three-time state tournament participant spoke to us prior to her fall season.
Rhodes last April won her first Fleur-de-lis Award as she helped St. Kate’s fourth-place finish at the Wash U Spring Invite.
“There’s so much that has happened with me,” said Rhodes, including coaching youngsters at the Solomon Hughes St. Golf Academy. “I was a coach for their fellowship team. I love it. It was really exciting…to see the kids improve and grow in confidence. It was super cool.”
She got to meet pro golfer Michelle Wie West, “and I actually got to have a conversation with her. Super cool,” reaffirmed Rhodes. The junior business administration major is anxious to start her college season after the pandemic delayed her college playing for a year. “I’m ready for competition,” said Rhodes.
Charles Hallman is a contributing reporter and award-winning sports columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.