Brett McNeal and Khalid El-Amin, legends who honed their basketball skills at Minneapolis North High School, are making moves just as they did while draped in the blue and white Polar uniform.
McNeal has moved on from his position of athletic director at Minneapolis Edison High School to become assistant athletic director for the Minneapolis Public Schools.
El-Amin, head boys’ basketball coach at St. Thomas Academy the past two seasons, was recently named head men’s basketball coach at Anoka Ramsey Community College.
Both have a little more in common than the Polar connection.
As a 6’3” shooting guard, McNeal, under head coach Tony Queen, led North to three Class AA tournament appearances—back when the state tournament had a two-class system—with runner-up finishes in 1984 and 1985.
Standing at 5’10”, El-Amin, with head coach Robin Ingram leading the way, was the point guard for four years for the Polars while leading them to three consecutive state championships in 1995, ’96 and ’97. Both were named Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball in 1985 and 1997 respectively.
McNeal went on to an All-American basketball career (1985-89) at Western Kentucky, where he was recruited by future University of Minnesota head coach Clem Haskins.
El-Amin, after verbally committing to Haskins and the Gophers, ended up at the University of Connecticut (1997-2000), leading them to the NCAA men’s basketball championship in 1999.
Their paths differ a little from there.
Before becoming involved in athletic administration, McNeal was involved in politics before becoming head boys’ basketball coach at his alma mater and leading them to the Class AAAA championship in 2003.
After playing one year with the Chicago Bulls during the 2000-01 season, El-Amin went on to have a decorated professional career overseas, a brief stint in broadcasting, and assistant coaching roles at Burnsville High School. There he teamed with then-head coach, former Minneapolis Roosevelt Mr. Basketball (1995), and University of Miami standout Robert Mestas, and at North with Hall of Fame Coach Larry McKenzie, while leading STA to a 23-6 record section 3AAA runner-up finish this past season.
McNeal and El-Amin have accomplished quite a bit over the years. It’s pretty evident that there’s more to come.