Fall Newsletter recalls great players, teams

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     The ultimate goal of all high school basketball players in South Dakota is to help their teams reach the state tournament. Those fortunate enough to accomplish that feat make memories during three days in March that last a lifetime.

     Many of our greatest players throughout the decades have earned lasting respect because of their outstanding performances in state tournaments. But there are many other equally talented players who never had that chance.

     The 2017 Fall Newsletter of the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame was sent Nov. 13 to the people on our mailing list. Among featured stories is a look back at some of the elite in north-central South Dakota. Some who never reached the state tourney ….. and others like Bob Stewart (right) who did. Stewart starred at Aberdeen Central before graduating in 1949 and moving on to the University of Colorado where as a senior he was captain of the Buffaloes.

     The newsletter also examines a South Dakota State University team that made a national impact behind an all-South Dakotan starting five; a rivalry between Yankton and Watertown that helped tip off girls basketball in the state; and a memorable player, Don Jongewaard, whose life tragically ended far too soon.

     We hope the newsletter has something for everyone who loves basketball.

50th Anniversary Champions were Neighbors

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     Two state champions, separated by about 20 miles along Highway 14, were crowned 50 years ago in South Dakota state basketball tournaments at the Sioux Falls Arena. And both Arlington and Brookings scored the exact same total of 69 points in the final game to earn their titles. With the new high school season approaching let’s look back to 1968.

     Arlington arrived at the Class B Tournament with only one loss and a lineup that featured Paul Harmel and Rich Andrzejewski. But the Cardinals of Coach Bill Hennrich were not rated No. 1. That distinction belonged to Parker.

     The two teams met in the finals. Arlington won 69-64 behind 23 points from Andrzejewski and 20 from Harmel, who totaled 69 in the tourney and was named Most Valuable Player. The Cardinals finished 26-1 and Parker 27-1.

     A week later Brookings, coached by Ken Thury and powered by Lee Colburn, beat Sioux Falls Lincoln 69-57 to claim the Class A championship. A perfect 8 of 8 free throws by 5-foot-6 guard Tom Osterberg in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for the Bobcats, 18-5. Patriots standout Neil Graff was chosen as MVP after scoring 67 points in the tourney.

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 dlwagner@tnics.com 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.