MA on the national stage

It’s nice to see a former Minnehaha graduate doing well. At this point, it’s apparent that I’m no longer my high school’s most well-known alum. But I’m almost certainly still the most infamous… not that the academy is any more eager than my university is to acknowledge me as a graduate of their august halls.

He earned his first Division I offer in sixth grade, joined the varsity team at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis as a seventh grader, nabbed his first high-major offer a year later, and won three straight state titles in high school, missing out on a chance at an elusive four-peat after COVID-19 cut short his senior season. He won three gold medals with USA Basketball’s youth teams, and became the highest-rated recruit in Gonzaga history when he committed.

It’s a little surreal for those of us who remember Gonzaga as the ultimate Cinderella team to seriously credit the fact that they are serious contenders for the national championship. I’m not a big basketball fan, although I’ll never forget the 1983 championship when NC State upset Phi Slama Jama on the same night that my church team beat Elim Baptist, a team that had beaten us by 47 points during the season, for the Baptist League title. If I recall correctly, I even scored eight points, which may well have been a season high for me as a non-shooting shooting guard.

Anyhow, good luck to Gonzaga. Favorites or not, they’re still the sort of team you almost have to cheer for come March Madness, like Cleveland State, Richmond, and, of course, Bucknell.