|Watertown Arrows – 1959
Thomas “Tom” McGrann started playing basketball at the Immaculate Conception Grade school in Watertown in the early 1950’s. Their team had some excellent talent which would soon be noticed by the Watertown Arrow coaching staff. Tom and his teammates enrolled in the Watertown Public School in 1957 and in just a couple of years they were a dominating force in the ESD. The Arrows won the ESD conference championship in 1959. Tom was a 6′ 8″ left handed center for the Arrows. He had excellent shooting and rebounding skills. He was the leading scorer in the ESD in his Junior and Senior years, averaging slightly over 22 points per game his senior year. He and his teammates won the 1959 State “A” Tournament. Tom scored 32 points in the Championship game against Lead which was a single game record which stood until 1989. Tom was named to the the State “A” All Tournament teams in 1958 ( a year in which the Arrows lost in the finals to the Huron Tigers) and 1959 as well as being named to the South Dakota State “A” All-State first teams in both 1958 and 1959. Toward the end of the year in 1959 McGrann was named the “High School Player of the Year” and the Watertown Arrows boys’ basketball team was named “High School Team of the Year” by the South Dakota sports writers.
In May of 1959 the “Senior Scholastic” magazine named Tom to their 1959 All-American High School basketball team along with 29 players from 19 other states. Tom was also chosen that year by the sports writers and sports broadcasters of the Mid-West along with 19 other high school seniors to play in the Wigwam Wisemen Club of America’s “Third Annual High School World Series of Basketball” which was played in Hutchinson, Kansas on June 3,4 and 5 of 1959.
After receiving mail from dozens of college coaches, including seventeen who tendered scholarship offers, Tom went on the play for the University of Minnesota where he was a three year starter. Tom was an outstanding post-player with excellent coordination and defensive skills.
Tom McGrann was inducted into the Watertown High School Athletic Hall of Fame when it opened for the first time on September 27, 1997. On March 20, 1999, Tom was inducted into the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame in Sioux Falls. Tom McGrann will be inducted into the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame on 27 March 2010.