This week’s column features a Minneapolis City Conference team starting strong, a former metro star making it in the NBA, and connection to a former girls basketball star.
South off to a great start
The Minneapolis South Tigers boys basketball team is off to an 8-1 start led by the senior backcourt duo of Poet Davis and Jumarion Weh.
Going into a Minneapolis City Conference match-up with defending league champ Minneapolis North—played on Monday, January 8, at North—Davis was averaging 21.4 points per game, while Weh had an 18.0 per game average.
Fellow classmates Romero Walker and James Underwood were contributing 10.9 and 10.0 points per game respectively for the Tigers.
Davis and Weh form one of the top backcourts in the metro area.
Suggs leading the Orlando Magic
Jalen Suggs, the former Minnehaha Academy boys basketball phenom, appears to be coming into his own during his third year in the NBA as a member of the Orlando Magic.
The 6’5” guard, who is developing into a defensive standout as well, is averaging 13.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game for the Magic.
Orlando is currently sixth in the Eastern Conference.
For those who might have forgotten, Suggs was one of the nation’s top prospects as a senior. Prior to earning Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year, Minnesota Mr. Basketball, Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year, and McDonald All-American honors in 2020, he led his team to state championships in 2017, ’18 and ’19.
In 2021, he led Gonzaga University to the NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship game, and later that June was Orlando’s No. 5 first-round pick in the NBA draft.
Clemson basketball game has metro area connections
As I watched the University of North Carolina Tar Heels play the Clemson Tigers in an ACC men’s basketball matchup on ESPN last Saturday, a former Minneapolis North girls basketball standout who accomplished quite a bit at the prep and collegiate level came to mind.
Brandi Hunter-Lewis—known as Brandi Decker in high school—was one of the state’s top players for North from 1990-93. Her sons Chase Hunter and Dilon Hunter now play for Clemson, who lost 65-55.
Their mom accepted a scholarship to play basketball for the University of Georgia basketball, teaming with conference rival and friend Tracy Henderson of Minneapolis Patrick Henry.
The pair would help lead the Bulldogs to Final Four appearances in 1995—held at the Target Center—and ’96.
Senior Chase played 36 minutes scoring 17 points while sophomore Dilon received 26 minutes of court time.
Their father, the late Brice Hunter, was a star receiver for Georgia from 1992-95.