Get your tickets for our 14th annual banquet

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        The South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame strives to research, document and illuminate the careers of the finest players ever to perform in our state. We will welcome 14 new members into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Saturday Aug. 24. Tickets are now available to the public for the 14th annual induction banquet which will be held at the Ramkota Hotel in northwest Sioux Falls. The cost is $35 per ticket and $10 for children 10 and younger.

        The Class of 2024 includes Jay Ellwein, Kay (Stormo) Freund, Roger Hammerbeck, Derrick McCauley, Dick Padrnos, JoEllen (Hofer) Salmen, Jill (Young) Sargent, Troy Schaefer, Brian Shanks, Dennis Smith and Tara (Batcheller) Volesky. To be inducted posthumously are Denny Busch, Wayne Fix and Dale Jacobsen. Recognized as a Team of Excellence will be Armour of 1978. The Packers were coached by Burnell Glanzer and went 26-0 in winning the Class B boys championship.

        Tickets include the induction program, a catered meal and a souvenir booklet. Order via the PayPal option on the lower right-hand portion of this website or by sending a check to SDBBHOF, 2210 W. Pentagon Place, Sioux Falls, SD 57107. Tickets purchased in either manner will be reserved and may be claimed at the Will-Call Table at the banquet.

        Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and on display will be inductee memorabilia exhibits. Hall of Fame apparel and mementos will be available for purchase. Raffle tickets will be sold with the winner receiving one Hall of Fame ring with the men’s ring valued at $339 and the women’s ring at $299. The banquet starts with the program at 1 p.m. with the meal to follow. When arriving please use the east parking lot and entrance. Tickets will be available at the door for $40 and $15.

        An informal reception for the inductees will be from 4-6 p.m. on Friday Aug. 23 at the Ramkota. The reception is free and dress is casual. Refreshments will be provided. The public is encouraged to attend. For additional information please contact SDBBHOF executive assistant Mary Pennington at or 970-946-2605.

Class of 2024 will enter Hall of Fame on Aug. 24

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        Three former Huron stars are among the 14 greats who will be inducted into the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame during a banquet to be held on Aug. 24.

        Denny Busch, Brian Shanks and Jay Ellwein represent different decades of Huron basketball. Each played an important role in helping the Tigers to a state title. In the submitted 1958 photo at right Busch holds the championship trophy Huron won that season.

        Jill (Young) Sargent, in the photo at left, set the girls state record for most career points while starring at Mitchell Christian. She is also a member of the Class of 2024. Induction will occur during the Hall of Fame’s 14th annual banquet at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls.

        The undefeated Armour Packers of 1978 will be recognized by the Hall of Fame during the banquet as a Team of Excellence. Burnell Glanzer coached Armour to a Class B state championship and a perfect record of 26-0. That season started the Packers on their way to what would eventually become a state boys record 64-game winning streak.

        Banquet details as well as information about purchasing tickets will be made available to the public soon on this Hall of Fame website.

        The Class of 2024:

        DENNY BUSCH (Huron 1959): The late Busch was a versatile performer as Huron won the Class A championship in 1958 and finished 22-0. The following season Busch was a senior and the Tigers took third in the state tournament. Busch was a veteran guard on the South Dakota State team that won the NCAA College Division national title in 1963.

        JAY ELLWEIN, Huron (Huron 1994): Huron was Class AA champion in 1993 as Ellwein led the Tigers with 19 points per game. A year later as a senior he averaged 24 points per game to conclude his career with 1,383 points and earn Gatorade Player of the Year recognition. Ellwein played collegiately for Huron University and Augustana.

        WAYNE FIX (Aberdeen Central 1953): The late Fix was a dominating presence in the Aberdeen Central lineup as the Golden Eagles reached the Class A state tournament in 1952 and 1953. Fix was all-tourney both years with Aberdeen Central winning the championship when he was a senior. Fix earned three varsity letters at the University of Minnesota.

        KAY (STORMO) FREUND, Georgetown, Texas (Watertown 1978): Freund was a Watertown mainstay as the Arrows took second in the Class A tourney in 1975 and won the title in 1976. She averaged 17 points per game as a senior. Freund was an elite runner who excelled in track and cross country at Watertown and the University of Iowa.

        ROGER HAMMERBECK, Hamill (Chamberlain 1966): Chamberlain was the smallest school in Class A when Hammerbeck led the Cubs to the state tournament when he was a senior. He averaged 20 points per game that season. Hammerbeck attended the University of South Dakota where he competed in both basketball and football.

        DALE JACOBSEN (Lake Norden 1954): The late Jacobsen was a four-year standout for Lake Norden. He averaged 19 points per game as a senior while also leading the Bluejays in rebounding. Jacobsen was noted as a tenacious defender who drew the opponent’s top scorer as his defensive assignment. Jacobsen played at South Dakota State.

        DERRICK McCAULEY, Waubay (Aberdeen Central 2004): McCauley was a premier ball-handler who produced 21 points per game for Aberdeen Central during his senior season. When he was a junior he averaged 25 points per game at Waubay before transferring. McCauley went on to an outstanding career at Sisseton Wahpeton College.

        DICK PADRNOS, Boulder, Colo. (Lake Andes 1951): Lake Andes made its first trip to the Class B state tournament when Padrnos was a senior. The Eagles won the third-place game behind 31 points from Padrnos. He averaged 23 points per game that season and Lake Andes went 30-1. Padrnos went on to play at the University of South Dakota.

        JOELLEN (HOFER) SALMEN, Tulare (Hitchcock 1994): A five-year Hitchcock starter, Salmen totaled 2,564 career points. During her senior season she averaged 28 points per game for the Bluejays. Salmen played two seasons for Huron University and then transferred to Black Hills State where she was named MVP of the SDIC in 1997.

        JILL (YOUNG) SARGENT, Waynesville, Ohio (Mitchell Christian 2007): Mitchell Christian won the Class B title when Sargent was a junior in 2006. Sargent was Miss Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior when she averaged 29 points per game. Her career total was a record 3,317 points. Sargent played at South Dakota State.

        TROY SCHAEFER, Rapid City (Pierre 1983): One of the state’s finest all-around athletes, Schaefer led Pierre to the Class A title in 1982. The Governors finished second when Schaefer was a senior and averaged 19 points per game. He was named co-Mr. Basketball and also excelled in football and tennis. Schaefer played football at Augustana.

        BRIAN SHANKS, Elk Point (Huron 1974): Shanks led Huron to the Class A championship in 1973 when he averaged 22 points per game. The following season Shanks was a senior and scored 26 points per game. His career total while at Lake Preston, and then Huron, was 1,800 points. Shanks played at South Dakota State and Northern State.

        DENNIS SMITH, Tulare (Glenham 1967): With a career scoring average of 25 points per game, Smith concluded his four seasons starring for Glenham with a total of 2,186 points. He produced 32 points per game as a senior for the Eagles. His single game high was 51 points. Smith earned all-SDIC honors while playing at Northern State.

        TARA (BATCHELLER) VOLESKY, Mitchell (Mobridge 1978): Volesky was a multi-position player who averaged 24 points per game as a senior. She also was medalist for Mobridge in the Class B state golf tournament in 1977. Volesky played golf at Brigham Young University and then transferred to Northern State to play basketball for the Wolves.

Change was looming after the season of 1954

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        Hayti and Deadwood won state titles in 1954. At the conclusion of those tournaments played 70 years ago, after the Redbirds and Bears had clinched their championships and hoisted their trophies, the all-tourney teams were announced. Just as had been done for many years. The past, in a basketball sense, was stepping aside in South Dakota.

        The future, in the form of the first official all-state teams, arrived the following season. It was then when the South Dakota Sportswriters Association began a tradition that continues still today. No longer were the all-tourney teams the lone opportunity for postseason recognition. The all-state teams opened the door wide and welcomed in all outstanding players, whether or not their schools had been fortunate enough to qualify for the state tournament.

        Hayti finished 32-2 and placed Garney Henley and Harley Petersen on that Class B all-tourney team of 1954. They were joined by Dan Goodman and Tom Veren of runner-up Provo, Marv Rasmussen of Claremont, Kay Besanson of Delmont, George Hurd of Highmore, Maury Haugland of Murdo, Mike Poppens of Lennox and Darwin Sulzle of Selby.

        Deadwood had a record of 23-4. The Bears were represented on the Class A all-tourney team by the trio of Bill Jones, Ed Morris and Reece Palmer. Also honored were Arlo Mogck and Jim Adkins of second place Parkston, Bucky Salway of Custer, Bill Arteman and Bob Pierce of Huron, Maurice Poppen of Madison and Hal Erickson of Sioux Falls.

2024 Spring newsletter will be the 20th edition

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        The final chapter in each high school basketball season in South Dakota is completed by the announcement of the all-state teams. It has been that way since 1955 when the first official Class A and Class B all-state teams were chosen by the members of the South Dakota Sportswriters Association.

        During the two-class era there were a number of outstanding players who were selected to the all-state team twice. But it was rare for any player to receive all-state honors three years. And much rarer still to be recognized among South Dakota’s finest as a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior.

        Chad Nelson (at left in Drake photo) accomplished that impressive feat while starring at Yankton. He was named to the Class A all-state team in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974. He went on to play collegiately at Minnesota and Drake.

        The South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame mailed its 2024 Spring Newsletter on April 17. Among the several stories in the newsletter is a look back at some of the most talented and memorable all-state first teams in the 70-year history of boys all-state in South Dakota. Our readers are given an opportunity to express their opinions on that topic.

        Also featured in the free newsletter is a study of how, through the decades, the landscape of high school basketball has changed in the state because of evolving factors such as school closures. Another story revisits a pair of girls teams that earned improbable championships. Both squads posted some dramatic upsets along the way to shock the state.

        The 2024 Spring Newsletter is our 20th edition. To commemorate that milestone the newsletter contains a trivia quiz. All of the 20 questions pertain to various stories that have appeared throughout the previous 19 newsletters.

S.D. stars aligned in basketball, track & field

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        South Dakota has a long history of producing outstanding all-around athletes who demonstrate the ability to master more than one sport. Throughout the decades there have been many who have worn multiple uniforms, depending on the sport in season, and have proven able to excel in all of their varied athletic endeavors.

        Sixty-five years ago, after the 1959 school year had ended, the list of South Dakota’s all-time state records in high school and college track and field revealed a talented group of multi-sport athletes, several whose names still resonate today.

        Some of those track record holders in 1959 were destined in later years to be inducted into the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

        Jim Tays cleared 6 feet, 3 inches at a meet in 1949 to set the state high school record in the high jump that still stood in 1959. He graduated from Gettysburg in 1950 and then attended the University of South Dakota. Competing in both basketball and track, Tays (in the USD photo at right) starred for the Coyotes in both sports. He was all-North Central Conference in basketball and he set a state college record of 6-4 in the high jump in 1954. Tays was inducted into the SDBBHOF in 2015.

        Rex Swett led Huron to the championship of the State Class A Basketball Tournament as a senior in 1958 before becoming a basketball and baseball stalwart at the University of Nebraska. He placed his name in the state high school track record book when he clocked a time of 21.9 seconds in the 220-yard dash in 1957. Swett was inducted into the SDBBHOF as part of the inaugural class in 2010.

        Garney Henley starred in basketball, football and track at Hayti before graduating in 1955. He continued his multi-sport career at Huron College, setting a state college record of 24.4 seconds in the 220-yard hurdles in 1959, before a career in the Canadian Football League. Henley was inducted into the SDBBHOF in 2013.

Dakota Valley winning streak reached 62 games

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        For parts of the last four seasons Dakota Valley High School was steadily stalking the all-time state record for consecutive victories in boys basketball. The Panthers of Coach Jason Kleis concluded last season with 53 wins in a row.

        Dakota Valley this season is led by 6-foot-7 senior Jaxson Wingert and 6-2 junior Luke Bruns. The Panthers started 9-0 to stretch their streak to 62 straight wins — two shy of tying the record — before falling to Hamlin 84-62. Dakota Valley won Class A state titles in both 2022 and 2023. The Panthers went 26-0 each season. The streak began when Dakota Valley won the third-place game in the 2021 state tournament.

        Isaac Bruns (left) and Randy Rosenquist Jr. (right) were driving forces in the Panthers’ undefeated dominance during the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Both earned first team all-state honors as juniors and again as seniors. Bruns ranks as Dakota Valley’s career scoring leader after netting a total of 2,309 points.

        Both former Panther standouts are now making significant contributions on their respective collegiate teams this season as true freshmen. Bruns is a 6-4 guard at the University of South Dakota while Rosenquist Jr. is a 6-0 guard at Dakota Wesleyan University.

        Armour accomplished its state record 64-game win streak from 1978 through 1980. The Packers claimed Class B titles with matching 26-0 records in 1978 and 1979. The record holder in South Dakota prior to Armour was Arlington. The Cardinals’ run of 61 consecutive victories came from 1937 through 1939. Included was a 31-0 record in 1938.

Reach of South Dakota basketball extends far

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        Recently the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame was contacted by a memorabilia collector in Indiana. He had come across a state tournament souvenir program from 1932 and was seeking information.

        The championship game of that single-class tourney matched a pair of South Dakota’s most respected and well-remembered coaches – Joe Quintal of Mitchell and Euclid Cobb of Rapid City. Mitchell won 21-7 in a low-scoring game typical of the era. The two-day tourney was held at the Sioux Falls Coliseum. Net receipts totaled $1,249.75.

        How a program from the 1932 state tournament in South Dakota ended up in Indiana in 2023 is a question that will likely remain unanswered. But it serves as a reminder that South Dakota prep basketball extends beyond South Dakota.

        Requests continue to come in from Hall of Fame followers who ask to be added to our mailing list in order to receive our free biannual newsletters. Those now receiving copies reside in 44 states. Here are the states we mail to:

        Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Girls basketball in ’73 was preparing for takeoff

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        Fifty years ago, during the autumn of 1973, girls basketball players at some of the high schools across South Dakota were getting their first opportunity to experience the thrill of competition against teams from other schools.

        A number of schools played a scattering of games that season. Others did not. But by the following year girls basketball had gained momentum. More schools were involved statewide and more players were participating.

        There was greater organization in 1974 and many schedules were expanded. Yankton, for example, played a total of 12 games. The Gazelles went 8-4. But there was no reward yet for girls teams at the conclusion of the season. In order to join the South Dakota boys in the excitement and fun of postseason play, the girls had to wait another year.

        The first two-class girls state tournaments were held in 1975. Yankton won the Class A championship. Jefferson swept to the championship in Class B. Fans appreciated the enthusiasm and the effort of the players. And they were impressed by the potential. Girls basketball was moving steadily forward in South Dakota and it has never looked back.

Fall newsletter depicts school’s 68-year wait

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        The wait, during the old two-class system of basketball, could be so long. That helped to make qualifying for the state tournament a special experience for communities across South Dakota.

        In 1939 the Langford team shown at right battled its way to the final eight in Class B. It would take another 68 years before the Lions were able to advance to their next state tournament.

        Read about that nearly seven-decade process in the 2023 Fall Newsletter which was published by the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame and mailed to its followers on Nov. 2. It is the 19th edition of the free biannual newsletter.

        Another story examines the skill of passing. What qualities make a uniquely talented distributer of the basketball? Serving as a sidebar to that story are comments from Hall of Fame readers who were asked to tell us about the best prep passers who they have seen.

        And learn in the newsletter about the heroism of an exceptional young man, an all-around athlete who helped his high school to a state basketball title in South Dakota. He went off to war as a soldier in the U.S. Army where he was commended for his bravery in combat and for his determination to survive and to escape from an enemy prison camp.

Progression of scoring record peaked at 72

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        The state single game scoring record was established on Feb. 10, 1953, and has endured for 70 years. Argonne High School was host to the Canova Eagles that night and the performance of Arrows star Delbert Gillam (right) was historic.

        Argonne was a small farming-based community which was located about six miles to the northwest of Howard in Miner County. It is now extinct. Gillam was a 6-foot-1 senior when he exploded for 72 points as the Arrows defeated Canova 126-81.

        Gillam averaged 25.9 points per game during that season. He was inducted into the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame posthumously in 2022.

        Much has been written through the years about Gillam’s record setting effort against Canova, including a feature story about the game and about Gillam’s career that appeared in the 2016 Fall Newsletter that was published by the Hall of Fame.

        But what was the progression of the record in South Dakota prior to Gillam?

        The first documented 40-point-plus scoring effort occurred late during the 1939 season. Corona senior Harold Settje went for 47 points as the Midgets beat Summit. He converted 22 shots from the field and three free throws.

        Settje moved on to play at Luther College (Iowa). When the U.S. entered World War II he joined the Marine Corps and served in the Pacific, including the Battle of Guadalcanal. After the war Settje resumed playing basketball at Luther. He later had a career in education. The late Settje spent time as superintendent at both Veblen and Scotland.

        Darwin Headrick pushed the record to 55 points when he netted that total for Egan in a 1944 victory over White. Five years later Bob Hanson of Gayville scored 67 points as the Orioles downed Volin in 1949. The record fell again when Bob Wolff of Frederick notched 70 points in a 74-19 win over Stratford in 1952. And then came Gillam and 72.