Hammon guides Spurs to Summer League Title

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Becky Hammon        San Antonio won the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League by defeating the Phoenix Suns 93-90 in the championship game on July 20. The Spurs were coached by Becky Hammon, who is a charter member of the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

        Hammon was a Rapid City Stevens star who played collegiately at Colorado State University. She was a standout in the WNBA with the New York Liberty and the San Antonio Stars. Hammon, 38, became the first woman to be a full-time assistant coach in the NBA when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich added her to his staff prior to the 2014-15 season.

        The Summer League is an important proving ground for young NBA players and prospects. Jonathon Simmons, a 6-foot-6 guard hoping to make the San Antonio regular-season roster for the upcoming season, led the Spurs with 23 points against Phoenix.

         Simmons was named Most Valuable Player of the title game and later used Twitter to praise Hammon’s coaching ability. “She did a great job with us,” wrote the former University of Houston player. “She was solid the whole way.”

Original Board Member Furness Dies at 81

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Gene Furness      The South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame has lost one of its most loyal friends. Gene Furness died under hospice care at the Golden Living Center in Clark on June 18, 2015. He was 81.

      When the Hall of Fame was chartered in 2009, Furness was a member of the original board of directors. He was involved in the crafting of the organization’s policies. Through the  years that followed he made significant contributions to both the growth and success of the Hall of Fame.

      Furness excelled in sports at Watertown High School, before graduating in 1952 and attending South Dakota State University. Later he earned a master’s degree from Northern State University.

      He was a teacher, coach and administrator at first Clark and then Waubay from 1959 until his retirement in 2000. While at Clark he coached the Comets to Class B state basketball tournament appearances in 1961, 1964 and 1967.

Mailing list includes friends from 30 states

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         Copies of our 2015 Spring Newsletter have been mailed to friends of the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame who live in 30 different states. The newsletter is free and published twice each year, in the spring and the fall.

        Followers of the Hall of Fame reside from California in the west to Massachusetts in the east. And from North Dakota in the north to Texas in the south. A total of nearly 1,000 people will receive the newsletter.

        “The large number of people who have already asked to be placed on our mailing list is very gratifying to us,” said Dave Wagner, executive director of the Hall of Fame. “We are encouraged that so many others, from all across the nation, share our enthusiasm and commitment to South Dakota basketball.”

        States represented by friends of the Hall of Fame who are on our mailing list include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Spring newsletter profiles legendary coach

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img003      Parker High School’s basketball program was a model of consistency under the direction of Gayle Hoover (right) for more than three decades. The Pheasants won 577 games and averaged 17 victories per season. Hoover was a rarity in that he spent his entire South Dakota coaching career at the same school. He guided the Pheasants for 34 years.

      The 2015 Spring Newsletter of the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame examines Hoover’s career and legacy through the eyes of five of his former players.

       Friends of the Hall of Fame receive the newsletter at their home. It was mailed June 3. The newsletter is free and published twice yearly. If you do not receive a copy and want to be added to our mailing list, email your name and home address (not your email address) to dlwagner@tnics.com. Or phone executive director Dave Wagner at (605) 467-3010.

      The newsletter also features several other noteworthy stories. Among them are a look at Yankton’s dominance of the one-class era; a 1925 team that did not win a title but may have been the state’s best; Wakonda’s 101-game winning streak; and a man who learned about basketball in South Dakota and then became one of California’s greatest coaches.

      We think the newsletter delves into topics that are of interest to all who love the game. We hope that you agree.

Contact the HOF with Comments, Nominations

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       After a successful and well attended HOF Weekend, the 2015 Induction Ceremony and Banquet are now pleasant memories and the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame looks toward the future. Our Selection Committee has started the process of researching and evaluating potential candidates for induction in the Class of 2016.

        We would like to encourage fans to share their thoughts about the Hall of Fame and to submit worthy nominations for consideration. To make comments about any topics — including the banquet, website, newsletter and our display at the Sanford Pentagon — please click on Contact on this website, list your name and leave your comments.

       The Hall of Fame seeks to honor the greatest players in state history. To nominate a former standout who has been out of high school at least 15 years click on Nomination Form on this website and follow the instructions  to download the form. Then complete the form and mail it to us at our Pentagon home using the address provided.

       Thanks to everyone who has supported the Hall of Fame and we ask for your continued support. To the many people already on our mailing list, please note that we will be sending out our 2015 Spring Newsletter  in about a month.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2015

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Class of 2015       

        Membership in the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame expanded to 98 with the induction of 16 former greats in the Class of 2015. The sixth annual banquet was held March 28 at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls.

        The Hall of Fame is proud to welcome, from left, in back, Jim Dyer (Willow Lake ’60), John Sivesind (Sioux Falls Roosevelt ’96), Chuck Iverson (Vermillion ’69), Jim Mitchell (South Dakota School for the Deaf ’54), Jim Tays (Gettysburg ’50), Marv Rasmussen (Claremont ’55) and Lorre Colburn representing the late Lee Colburn (Brookings ’69).

        In front, John Eidsness (Canton ’66), Amy Burnett (Huron ’91), Carla Allard-Watson (Bennett County ’87), Katie Dailey (Jefferson ’81), Julie (Jensen) Rozell (Langford ’91), Vince Whipple (Rapid City ’56) and Mike Freier (Tripp ’67).

        Completing the Class of 2015 are the late Ray Hamann (Yankton ’31) and the late Jimmy Lovley (Elkton ’20). To read bios of  this year’s honorees, as well as of all other Hall of Fame members, please click on Inductees on this website.

1990 Wakonda cited as Team of Excellence

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Wakonda girls 1990

      Each year at the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame induction banquet, an outstanding team from the past is recognized by the Hall of Fame as a Team of Excellence. Honored for 2015 during the sixth annual banquet on March 28 at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls was the unbeaten 1990 Wakonda Warriorettes.

      The Warriorettes defeated Langford 85-60 in the championship game of the Class B state girls tournament in 1990 to clinch their third consecutive title. Wakonda finished 26-0 and extended its winning streak to 76 straight games.

      Team members were, from left, Jessica (Johnson) Bosse, Mandy (Richey) Wilson, Casey (Mount) Pollman, Carmen (Girard) Giles, Keeley Pollman, Nicky (Johnsen) Gilbertson, Becky (Flynn) Jensen, Trina (Hansen) Merideth, Kathy (Denzin) Fitzgerald, Beth (Mullinix) Kopecky, Becky (Lyso) Gregoire and Sandy (Lyso) Wolfswickel. In front, from left, Assistant Coach Tim Pflanz; student managers Lana Humpal, Megan Beatty and Miranda Moser; and Coach Ron Flynn.

Join Us As We Pay Tribute to the Class of 2015

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Action for post        Tickets purchased in advance for the sixth annual South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame induction banquet have been mailed. The banquet is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 28, at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls.

        The pre-sale of tickets will continue at the cost of $35 per ticket. Orders can be made via the PayPal option on this website. Or by sending a check to SDBBHOF, 2210 W. Pentagon Place, Sioux Falls, SD 57107.

        Sixteen of the finest players in state history, among them Rapid City legend Vince Whipple (left), will be inducted in the Class of 2015. That will bring the number of Hall of Fame members to 98. The inductees have made indelible impressions on South Dakota basketball. Also to be recognized during the banquet as a Team of Excellence is the 1990 Wakonda Warriorettes.

        Doors open at 11 a.m. Tickets, which include a souvenir booklet and a meal at the end of the banquet, will also be available at the door. Cost for children ages 4-11 is $10.00.

        An informal reception for inductees will be from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, March 27. The reception is free and refreshments will be available. The public is encouraged to attend  the reception to meet and visit with members of the Class of 2015 as well as with several Hall of Fame members who were inducted in earlier years.

        Because of the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Elite Eight that is being played at the Sanford Pentagon on March 24-25-27, the reception has been moved from the Pentagon to the Jefferson Room of the Ramkota Hotel.

Get your tickets now for induction banquet

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     Tickets are $35 for the sixth annual South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame induction banquet. Purchase your tickets now and join us as we welcome 16 of the state’s greatest players into the Hall of Fame at 2 p.m. on March 28 at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls. A free reception will be from 4-7 p.m. on March 27 at the Ramkota Hotel.



Class of 2015 features 16 all-time greats

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      Sixteen of the state’s all-time greatest players will be honored during the sixth annual South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame induction banquet at 2 p.m. on March 28 at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls.

      Included is the late Leonard “Jimmy” Lovley, the state’s only representative in the prestigious Helms Foundation Basketball Hall of Fame.

      Lovley was a 1920 graduate of Elkton. He led the Elks to two state championships during South Dakota’s one-class era. Lovley became the first All-American in Creighton University history, earning that distinction in both 1923 and 1924. He was inducted into the Helms Foundation Basketball Hall of Fame in 1957.

      The Class of 2015 also features Amy Burnett (Huron ‘91) of Austin, Texas; the late Lee Colburn (Brookings ‘69); Katie Dailey (Jefferson ‘81) of Canistota; Jim Dyer (Willow Lake ‘60) of Scottsdale, Ariz.; John Eidsness (Canton ‘66) of Pelican Rapids, Minn.; Mike Freier (Tripp ‘67) of Bloomington, Minn.; the late Ray Hamann (Yankton ‘31); Chuck Iverson (Vermillion ‘69) of Yankton; Jim Mitchell (South Dakota School for the Deaf ‘54) of Sioux Falls; Marv Rasmussen (Claremont ‘55) of Langford; Julie Jensen Rozell (Langford ‘91) of Redfield; John Sivesind (Sioux Falls Roosevelt ‘96) of Sioux Falls; Jim Tays (Gettysburg ‘50) of Hot Springs; Carla Allard-Watson (Bennett County ‘87) of Rapid City; and Vince Whipple (Rapid City ‘56) of Porcupine.

      “This group continues the rich tradition of outstanding athletes inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said executive director Dave Wagner. “Each of these players has made an important imprint on South Dakota basketball history.”

      Recognized as a Team of Excellence will be the 1990 Wakonda girls. The Warriorettes of Coach Ron Flynn were 26-0 and won the Class B state title. Banquet ticket information will be announced soon on this website.