Basketball is a common thread that for many decades has been woven into family histories throughout South Dakota. Dedication to the game is often passed along from parents to their children and sometimes even beyond.
Since the 1955 season South Dakota, after the conclusion of its state tournaments, has selected all-state teams. The purpose of that process, as it was then and remains today, is to recognize the state’s best players. Many all-staters from years in the past have watched as their own sons and daughters have also developed into all-state players.
But it is exceedingly rare for three generations of a family to ascend to first team all-state.
Sixty years ago Ray Schultz of Freeman was chosen as a member of the Class B all-state first team of 1963. His son Scott also was a standout for the Flyers and was first team all-state in 1985. Scott’s son Sawyer carried on the tradition when he was named to the Class B all-state first team for Bridgewater-Emery after the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons.
And a three generational all-state family connection can even end up outside the borders of South Dakota. Tom Miller was Class B first team all-state in 1967 for Stickney when he averaged 34 points and had 11 games over 40. His son Mike starred at Mitchell and was Class AA first team all-state in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Mike’s son Mason, now playing at Creighton, was a Tennessee first team Class AAA all-stater in 2021 while attending Houston High School.