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Sunday, April 04, 2021

MA on the national stage

It's nice to see a former Minnehaha graduate doing well. At this point, it's apparent that I'm no longer my high school's most well-known alum. But I'm almost certainly still the most infamous... not that the academy is any more eager than my university is to acknowledge me as a graduate of their august halls.

He earned his first Division I offer in sixth grade, joined the varsity team at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis as a seventh grader, nabbed his first high-major offer a year later, and won three straight state titles in high school, missing out on a chance at an elusive four-peat after COVID-19 cut short his senior season. He won three gold medals with USA Basketball’s youth teams, and became the highest-rated recruit in Gonzaga history when he committed.

It's a little surreal for those of us who remember Gonzaga as the ultimate Cinderella team to seriously credit the fact that they are serious contenders for the national championship. I'm not a big basketball fan, although I'll never forget the 1983 championship when NC State upset Phi Slama Jama on the same night that my church team beat Elim Baptist, a team that had beaten us by 47 points during the season, for the Baptist League title. If I recall correctly, I even scored eight points, which may well have been a season high for me as a non-shooting shooting guard.

Anyhow, good luck to Gonzaga. Favorites or not, they're still the sort of team you almost have to cheer for come March Madness, like Cleveland State, Richmond, and, of course, Bucknell.

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17 Comments:

Blogger Unknown April 04, 2021 12:08 PM  

Welp, they won at the buzzer, so your wish was granted.

Blogger Crunchy Cachalot April 04, 2021 12:20 PM  

I've never been able to cheer for any Gonzaga since the machinations of Isabella d'Este lead to the sack of Rome in 1527.

Blogger Skyler the Weird April 04, 2021 12:54 PM  

I'm all for ending the Power Five reign of error in College Sports. Hopefully the Pay the Players pass will get past the courts and bankrupt them all.

Blogger Linda Fox April 04, 2021 1:05 PM  

So glad you mentioned the Ultimate Underdog, Cleveland State (Bachelor's and Master's from there).

Blogger wEz April 04, 2021 1:05 PM  

Should be a great final. Glad uber secular UCLA didn't make it.
I like how Baylor plays, plus their team moto is "J.O.Y" Jesus, Others, before Yourself. Look it up.

Blogger Piqua Bear April 04, 2021 1:06 PM  

Vox, I get the impression that you were a defensive specialist in basketball and probably very good at passing and setting guys up. Is this accurate?

Blogger ArcasArcadia April 04, 2021 1:43 PM  

I don't watch the NBA because it's terrible in just about every conceivable way, but I do still watch the prep and college game from time to time because I still like the game when it's played properly. Minnehaha Academy has become a bit of a national basketball power house. They've got the number one recruit in the country, a 7 foot white young fella named Chet Holmgren. Anyhow Gonzaga looked good in the half of a half that I watched. I've always liked the way they play. Hope they take home the championship Monday.

Blogger Steve Canyon April 04, 2021 2:48 PM  

Few is about the only coach left that plays the old school version of the game. Spread the floor and pass to the open or player with a mismatch. And he's done it with blue collar talent. Glad to see them doing well, even if the University has become more secular and further from its Catholic roots over the past 15 years.

Blogger Scientific Manager April 04, 2021 2:57 PM  

Lorenzo Charles, who dunked at the end to beat Phi Slamma Jamma, went to my high school.

Blogger Imposta April 04, 2021 3:00 PM  

I went to highschool with Nembhard, great guy and super down to earth. His choice in girls though... oof

Blogger VD April 04, 2021 3:39 PM  

Is this accurate?

No, my only utility was defense. We had a really good point guard who could also shoot the lights out. We also had a clumsy 6'11" center - and this was in 8th grade. My job was to defend the other team's point guard, immediately pass the ball to the point guard if I stole it or got a rebound, and otherwise stay out of his way.

I was pretty good on defense despite my lack of height, though. I was just as quick as the black point guards, so they couldn't blow past me in the way they were accustomed to doing.

Blogger Iceeater April 04, 2021 5:43 PM  

The coach that Drew replaced was a phony christian - lots of talk , plus players involved w murder.

So proud to see the bears form a prayer circle at end of each game. When u have Tony Dungee (a man of many deep sorrows) be your speaker before the semi- u r on the right path.

Blogger James Dixon April 04, 2021 7:56 PM  

> I'm not a big basketball fan

I follow WVU. That's it. When they lost to Syracuse I stopped following the tournament.

And honestly, I care a lot less about them than I used to.

Blogger John (not the pope) April 04, 2021 8:04 PM  

Mark Hanson, former Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America...apostate gets his 15 minutes of fame. Can't imagine MA is all that proud of him.

Blogger Piqua Bear April 04, 2021 8:27 PM  

Defensive specialist. That makes sense. Sounds very similar to how I played. Thanks for sharing, Vox.

Blogger Hamilton April 04, 2021 8:37 PM  

Chet is one hell of a player. I don’t know if I’ve even seen a 7’2’’ player as smooth as he is at that age. If he can gain some weight, watch out.

Blogger Colonel Blimp April 04, 2021 9:07 PM  

Tell me more about your degrees...

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