Record-setting player was modest about his prowess

  • Article by: PAUL KLAUDA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 17, 2012 - 10:32 PM

Norm Grow, who died Saturday at 72, held several state hoops scoring marks.

Foley’s Norm Grow once held the state single-game scoring record of 70 points, set in 1958.

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For 47 years, Norm Grow's single-game state basketball scoring record held intact.

On a January night in 1958, he scored 70 points for Foley High School in a game against Holdingford. With hook shots and turnaround jumpers, and without a three-point line, Grow made 26 baskets -- nearly 80 percent of his shots -- and 18 of 21 free throws.

The 6-5 senior's shooting prowess drew comparisons to 7-foot Wilt Chamberlain when Grow, who started playing for Foley in eighth grade, broke Chamberlain's national high school career scoring record. The two squared off in a high school All-America game before Grow played for the Gophers.

But Grow, 72, who died Saturday of a heart attack after a 12-year battle with prostate cancer, was not one to bring up any of it.

At the family home in Arden Hills, his trophies were buried in boxes. He didn't want his four children to feel pressure from his success.

"He would loved to be remembered more so as a devoted husband, father and grandfather, no doubt about it,'' said Derrick Grow, his oldest son.

At the university, "You never would even know he even made a basket in his high school career,'' said state hockey great Lou Nanne, who roomed with Grow and helped him meet his future wife. "His disposition was the most even-keeled of anyone I've been around.''

Grow earned a business degree and worked in sales in the Twin Cities. He and Lana Long married in 1961.

Grow's record night topped the previous state mark of 69 points, set by Ron Johnson of Starbuck in 1953. Grow's record was broken in 2005 by Cash Eggleston of Minnesota Transitions, who scored 90 points in a game.

Grow also held the state career scoring mark of 2,852 points for 33 years.

Grow is survived by his wife, four children and 12 grandchildren.

Services are set for 11:30 a.m. Friday at Eagle Brook Church, 2401 East Buffalo St., White Bear Lake. Visitation begins at 10:30 a.m.

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