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Minnesota Basketball: Six Gophers make it into new Minnesota High School Hall of Fame #TBT

There is a new HOF in town, the Minnesota High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

In 1958 the Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame and quickly was forgotten about several times since then. So it makes sense to create a new Hall of Fame, specifically for high school basketball and it’s even better it has a permanent home at Target Arena. The announcement of the Hall of Fame came recently, but the actually induction won’t happen until March 26 as a tie in with the State Basketball Tournament. The inaugural class has 14 members including 6 Gophers.

The first set of honorees are: The 1960 Edgerton boys’ basketball team; Chisholm coach Bob McDonald; Jim McIntyre, Mpls. Henry, 1945; Ron Johnson, New Prague, 1956; Mark Olberding, Melrose, 1974; Kevin McHale, Hibbing, 1976; Randy Breuer, Lake City, 1979; Khalid El-Amin, Minneapolis North, 1997; the 1929-39 Grand Meadow girls’ team; girls’ sports advocate Dorothy McIntyre; Rochester Lourdes coach Myron Glass; Faith Johnson Patterson, Marshall University, 1980; Janet Karvonen-Montgomery, New York Mills, 1980 and Lindsay Whalen, Hutchinson, 2000.

It’s pretty cool and I know next to nothing about the 1960 Edgerton boys team or the 1929-39 Grand Meadows girls team, so I assume the Hall of Fame will include some good historical writing about them. Although the linked Star Tribune article above does have some great comments (lol, I know right) about how good Edgerton was.

I do know something about the Gophers players though. The good folks at Gophers Sports did a great job with bios. I’ll just add the photos and video.

Randy Breuer led Lake City to a 70-3 record over a three-year period, and back-to-back state championships in 1978 and 1979. He concluded his career with 1,599 points, 113 of which came in the three state tournament games in 1979 which still stands as the tourney record. He single-handedly outscored an opponent in one of those game, netting 42 points in a 77-39 victory. The center shot 63.6 percent (715-of-1,125) from the floor for his career. He was honored as Mr. Basketball in 1979. Breuer went on to play at the University of Minnesota where he became one of only five Gophers all-time to record more than 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 150 blocked shots. He wound up with 1,777 career points. Breuer was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 18th overall pick in the 1983 NBA draft. The 7-foot-3 center also played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings during a career that spanned 11 years.

Ron Johnson as a Gopher in 1960 vs Purdue.

Ron Johnson. The state’s first 2,000-point career scorer, Johnson finished his prep career with 2,190 points in 89 games (24.6 points per game average). Johnson led New Prague to back-to-back state tournament appearances in 1955 and 1956. He was also the leading scorer in each tournament, netting 203 points in six games. His 33.8 points per game average in state tournament play still stands as the career record. Johnson went on to play at the University of Minnesota where he scored 1,335 career points (19.7 points per game average). He was a second-round draft pick of the Detroit Pistons in 1960.

Kevin McHale was named Mr. Basketball his senior year when he led the Bluejackets (25-2) to a second-place finish in the state tournament. He established the state tournament record for field-goal percentage (27-for-34 for 79.4 percent) that year. Hibbing was coming off a sixth-place state tournament finish the previous year. He concluded his prep career with 1,054 points. McHale went on to have his jersey retired at the University of Minnesota as well as with the Boston Celtics in the NBA. He was named to the all-Big Ten Conference team with the Gophers in 1979 and 1980 and ranks sixth in school history in career points (1,704) and second in rebounds (950). He helped the Celtics to three NBA titles, and was selected to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996. He was inducted into the Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame in 1992 and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. He was inducted to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in the founding class of 2006.

Jim MCIntyre getting an “easy shot” off against Iowa in 1948.

Jim McIntyre demolished the Minnesota high school record book. His 1,027 career points was the third most in state history at the time. In the state tournament, he set the single-game scoring record four times, going from 27 to 29, then 36, and finally to 43 in the 1945 championship. The state tournament scoring record at that time was 77 points in four games. McIntyre scored 86 points in three games in 1944, and increased that to 100 points in 1945. He led Minneapolis Patrick Henry to back-to-back state championships those two years. He went on to become a two-time consensus All-American at the University of Minnesota. The Gophers first true big man at 6-foot-10 scored 1,223 career points, and set the single-season scoring record of 360 points during the 1947-48 season. He eschewed the NBA to pursue a career as a minister.

Mark Olberding. Minnesota basketball historian and author Joel Krenz wrote, “Mark Olberding as a 6-foot-4 sophomore at Melrose was as yet an unknown quantity, but within a year, he was the most sought-after basketball player in Minnesota basketball history.” In his three years as a starter for the Dutchmen, they compiled a 69-11 record with one state championship and two runner-up trophies — suffering one- and two-point setbacks in the finals. He finished his high school career with 1,732 points and 1,115.rebounds. In his first state tournament game as a junior, Olberding scored 36 points, pulled down 29 rebounds and blocked four shots in a 70-44 victory over Preston. In the 1973 championship game, a 53-52 loss to Chisholm, Olberding connected on 12-of-13 shots from the floor in a 24-point, 18-rebound performance. He made a state tournament record 40 field goals that year. St. Cloud State coach Noel Olson said at the time: “Olberding could be the best big man ever to play in Minnesota.” He brought home a state championship the following year, beating Mound 58-42 for the Class A championship and Class AA champion Bemidji 58-42 to be crowned the overall champion. Olberding only played one year at the University of Minnesota before opting to turn pro. He played 12 seasons in the ABA and NBA for five different organizations.

Lindsay Whalen starred at Hutchinson High School where she scored 1,996 career points. She had 82 consecutive games scoring in double figures and 21 career triple-doubles. While at Minnesota, she held the program’s career records for points, scoring average and free throws made for 12 years and still ranks second in all three categories. Whalen is also second at Minnesota in career assists and in the top 10 in at least eight other statistical categories. She is the program’s only three-time All-American and led the team to its first-ever Final Four appearance in 2004.

Assuming this Hall of Fame lasts into next year it’ll be really interesting to see who gets into the 2019 class.