State colleges have 117 players from S.D.

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     As the new college basketball season approaches its tip off, there are 117 former South Dakota preps who are on varsity rosters of in-state men’s and women’s teams. Here is a breakdown of that total based on competitive levels.

     NCAA Division I: South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota together have 12 players (three men and nine women) who previously performed for high schools within the state.

     NCAA Division II: There are a combined 47 former in-state preps (15 men and 32 women) competing for Augustana University, Black Hills State University, Northern State University, South Dakota Mines and the University of Sioux Falls.

     NAIA: Dakota State University, Dakota Wesleyan University, Mount Marty College and Presentation College have a total of 58 players (25 men and 33 women) who arrived at those programs from South Dakota.

     There are more than 55 high schools from across South Dakota which have contributed at least one player to the state’s current collegiate teams. The list of schools which have at least four players in action include Aberdeen Central, Dell Rapids, Mitchell, Rapid City Stevens, Rapid City St. Thomas More, Sioux Falls O’Gorman and Sioux Falls Roosevelt.

Display to recognize state scoring leaders

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     Tribute will be paid to all-time state scoring leaders Louie Krogman and Jill Young in a new addition to the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame at the Sanford Pentagon.

     Krogman starred at White River High School and totaled 3,521 points to set the South Dakota boys career record. Mitchell Christian High School standout Young established the girls record with 3,317 points. Both were varsity starters before entering high school.

     Krogman was Class B first team all-state during each of his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. The 6-foot-1 guard led the Tigers to the state championship as a senior in 2008 when he scored 45 points in a title game win against Langford.

     Young was Class B second team all-state as an eighth-grader and then earned first team honors during each of her four years in high school. Mitchell Christian won a state championship in 2006 during the 5-7 guard’s junior season.

     Both players continued their outstanding careers at the collegiate level. Krogman played at the University of South Dakota and scored 1,644 points for the Coyotes. Young netted 1,356 points for South Dakota State University.

Letter Jackets are needed for new exhibit

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     Letter jackets have long been a symbol of pride. They have been proudly worn, in a wide assortment of styles and colors, by generations of players in South Dakota to demonstrate loyalty to their teams and schools.

     The South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame is in the process of preparing a new exhibit which will provide Hall of Fame visitors at the Sanford Pentagon with a look at the evolution of letter jackets through the years.

     Currently the collection includes jackets that represent six decades including the 1930s (Doland ’37); 1950s (Cresbard ’53 and Fedora ’58); 1960s (Willow Lake ’60 and Aberdeen Central ’61); 1970s (Cheyenne-Eagle Butte ’71 and Yankton ’74); 1980s (Huron ’80 and Sioux Falls Washington ’83); and 1990s (Warner ’94).

     Still needed are jackets from the decades of the 1910s, 1920s, 1940s, 2000s and 2010s. If you are in possession of a letter jacket from one of the missing decades that you would be willing to loan to the Hall of Fame please contact Executive Director Dave Wagner by email at or by telephone at 605-467-3010.

Followers in 33 states receive newsletter

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     The 2017 Spring Newsletter produced by the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame was mailed May 10. Copies are delivered to approximately 1,000 people. Our mailing list includes followers who reside in 33 different states.

     Among the topics explored in this issue:

    * How tiny Doland battled the big schools in the memorable one-class state tournament of 1932.

    * A pair of thrilling overtime games, one prep and one collegiate, that made history in 1956 and 1963.

    * The Roosevelt girls’ dominant five-peat during 1997-2001 and their time in the national spotlight.

     Readers also will revisit the memorable career of Eric Bundgaard (left), who captured the attention of the state as a freshman prodigy for the Brookings Bobcats in 1964. Bundgaard went on to average 20.8 points per game in his career during four varsity seasons in premier conferences in South Dakota and Minnesota.

     Our newsletters are free and are published twice yearly, in the spring and in the fall. This is our sixth edition. The next issue will be available around Thanksgiving. (Submitted Photo)

The Hall of Fame Class of 2017

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The Class of 2017, from left, front, Mike Sisk, John Lillibridge, Joe Ashley, Gary Evjen, Guy Mackner. Middle, Ann Pancoast, Leatrice Big Crow representing her late daughter SuAnne, xxxx representing her late father "Sunny" Jim Schmidt, Kriss Edwards, Donna Muir. Back, Terry Jordre, Jerry Buri and Ron Bertsch.

The Class of 2017, from left, front, Mike Sisk, John Lillibridge, Joe Ashley, Gary Evjen, Guy Mackner. Middle, Ann Pancoast, Leatrice Big Crow representing her late daughter SuAnne Big Crow, Nancy Schmidt representing her late father Jim Schmidt, Kriss Edwards, Donna Muir. Back, Terry Jordre, Jerry Buri and Ron Bertsch. (John Simko Photo)

        Thirteen new members were inducted into the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame before a large and appreciative audience March 25 in the Jefferson Room at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls.

        Members of the Class of 2017 were honored during the eighth annual induction banquet. They increase membership in the Hall of Fame to 130 of the greatest players ever to perform in the state.

        Inductees are selected by the Hall of Fame board of directors, with thorough consideration given to each player nominated. To be considered for induction a player must have graduated from high school at least 15 years ago.

Pine Ridge ’87: Team of Excellence for 2017

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        The Pine Ridge  High School Thorpes made one of the most spectacular comebacks in the history of  state championship games in South Dakota when they defeated Lennox in the finals of the 1987 Class A tournament.

        With time expiring in the third quarter, Lennox led by 13 points. The Thorpes rallied and won by seven, 60-53. Pine Ridge finished with a perfect 26-0 record and because of its impressive achievements is being recognized as the Team of Excellence for 2017 by the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

        The Thorpes and Coach Jesse Mendoza were saluted during the eighth annual Hall of Fame induction banquet March 25 at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls. Inducted during the banquet were 13 former standouts. The Thorpes were, from left, front, Ron Martin, Jeff Big Crow, Jon Garnier, Jim Colhoff, Joe Mesteth, Don Garnier. Back, Bart Ecoffey, Tony Brewer, George Bettelyoun, Bryan Brewer, Brent Brewer, Willie White, Paul Cedar Face and Mendoza.

Miller, Nuggets tie NBA 3-point record

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Miller with Nuggets        Denver converted 24 3-point goals in a 132-110 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Feb. 13. That performance tied the NBA record for the most 3-pointers in a game originally set by the Houston Rockets.

        Mike Miller went 2-for-2 from long range to help the Nuggets to the record before a sellout crowd of 19,941 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

        The 6-foot-8 Miller is a former Mitchell High School standout who was chosen Class AA first team all-state  for the Kernels in 1996, 1997 and 1998. He played collegiately at the University of Florida and was inducted into the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

        Miller is in his 17th year in the NBA and has now moved within 35 points of the 11,000 career-point plateau. He has scored 10,965 points and is a career 41 percent shooter on 3-pointers with 1,588 goals.

        Before joining the Nuggets prior to last season, Miller had spent time with Orlando, Memphis, Minnesota, Washington, Miami and Cleveland.

Endowment provides stability for future

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        In its eight years of existence the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame has strived to rekindle memories of the past while exploring many of the most treasured moments in our state’s rich basketball history.

        Of utmost importance to the Board of Directors is the implementation of a strategic plan that will enable an adequate level of financial health for the organization. Our goal is to ensure that the Hall of Fame has the necessary resources to fulfill its mission well into the distant future. The Board of Directors has therefore authorized the creation of an endowment fund through the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation.

        Leon and Virginia Tobin of Aberdeen provided an initial gift of $5,000. Since then the Board of Directors has been gratified by the response of others who share our love of South Dakota basketball and our desire to preserve its history. Click on ‘Our Donors’ on this website to see a list of our generous contributors and to learn how you too can help.

        The Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization which was chartered as a 501(c)(3) in 2009 and is located in the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. We believe our endowment will allow us to enhance our outreach moving forward. Our commitment is to provide current and future generations with access to a glorious past that should never be forgotten.

Six decades represented in Class of 2017

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          Thirteen former greats have been selected for induction into the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. The eighth annual induction banquet will be at 1 p.m. on March 25  at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls.

          Members of the Class of 2017 include standouts from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. They will increase Hall of Fame membership to 130. At the banquet the 1987 Pine Ridge Thorpes will be honored as a Team of Excellence. Pine Ridge, coached by Jesse Mendoza, won the Class A state boys title and went 26-0. The Class of 2017:

         * Joe Ashley, Pierre (Pierre 1979): The 7-foot Ashley recorded 405 career blocked shots and led the Governors to the Class A state title as a senior. He played collegiately at Iowa State University and South Dakota State University.

        * Ron Bertsch, Yankton (St. Lawrence 1961): Bertsch ranked among the state’s career scoring leaders with 2,012 points for the Wolves. He established a Yankton College record when he netted 1,606 points as a Greyhound.

         * SuAnne Big Crow (Pine Ridge 1992): The late Big Crow scored 2,541 career points and led the Lady Thorpes to the Class A title in 1989. She tallied a state girls single-game record 67 points and was first team all-state three years.

         * Jerry Buri, Montgomery, Texas (Hazel 1960): After scoring 1,937 points for the Mustangs, Buri was a three-year letterman at South Dakota State University. He helped the Jackrabbits to the 1963 NCAA College Division title.

         * Kriss Edwards, Seattle, Wash. (Watertown 1977): Edwards was a talented point guard who led the Arrows to the Class A title in 1976. She went on to set University of Nebraska-Omaha career records for both assists and steals.

         * Gary Evjen, Sioux Falls (Sioux Falls Washington 1968): Evjen averaged 15 points per game as a Warrior senior. He had 2,288 career points at Northern State University and was all-South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference four years.

         * Terry Jordre, Aberdeen (Corona 1957): A skilled floor leader, Jordre was also a defensive specialist for the Midgets. While at Northern State University the Wolves won four South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference titles.

        * John Lillibridge, Burke (Burke 1958): Lillibridge achieved career totals of 1,984 points and 1,008 rebounds for the Bulldogs. At the University of South Dakota he played basketball and was a record setting discus champion in track.

         * Guy Mackner, Sisseton (Sisseton 1965): A stalwart for the Redmen and an all-North Central Conference player for South Dakota State University, the 6-foot-7 Mackner was selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1969 NBA Draft.

         * Donna Muir, Norfolk, Va. (Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 1978): First team all-state three years, Muir averaged 23.2 points per game for the Braves in her senior season. She played for the Lady Statesmen of Delta State University (Miss.).

         * Ann Pancoast, Ballwin, Mo. (Sioux Falls Washington 1981): Pancoast and the Warriors were 23-0 and Class A state champions in 1980. She was then all-North Central Conference three years for the University of South Dakota.

         * Jim Schmidt (Dell Rapids St. Mary 1941): Known as “Sunny” Jim, the late Schmidt was all-Catholic state tourney four years. While at South Dakota State University he was North Central Conference scoring champion twice.

         * Mike Sisk, Mesa, Ariz. (Miller 1957): Sisk averaged 18 points per game in his final two seasons as a Rustler. He was a three-year South Dakota State University starter as the Jackrabbits won North Central Conference titles each season.

HOF speakers are available for presentations

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     Are you familiar with the inspirational story of Jimmy Lovley? As a young man in 1920 he left the small eastern South Dakota town of Elkton. His destination was Omaha where he became a Creighton University basketball immortal.

     Lovley was an All-American and the only South Dakotan inducted into the prestigious Helms Foundation Basketball Hall of Fame. His career was legendary and is merely a single thread in the tapestry of basketball history in our state.

     The South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to offer a speaker’s bureau to help you learn more about the state’s rich basketball heritage as well as the creation and evolution of the Hall of Fame.

     If you are a member of a civic, church, school or social group that would like to schedule a free presentation contact Executive Director Dave Wagner by email at or by telephone at 605-467-3010.