This blog post was authored by Dalton Walker, Red Lake High class of 2000. Walker is the Web Editor and Social Media Manager at The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo. He’s a member of the Native American Journalists Association Board of Directors and graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He lives with his wife and daughter in Manitou Springs, Colo. You can reach him on Twitter @GazetteDalton
The Red Lake Warriors basketball team didn’t beat the Wabasso Rabbits that chilly March night back in the 1997 Minnesota state basketball tournament, but the Warriors didn’t lose either.
I sat courtside to arguably the most exciting basketball game in Minnesota high school history. When the final buzzer of overtime sounded, the final score was Wabasso 117, Red Lake113. The game was played at the old St. Paul Civic Center and both teams ran the court as if there was a 10-second shot clock and the first to score 100 would win. And those were the days of the 8-minute quarters.
If the game was played today, the video replay would go viral and national sports shows like ESPN would show highlights.
This season, a new generation of Warriors qualified for the state tournament. Today’s Warriors were either in diapers or not yet born when the Red Lake Warriors advanced to the state tournament for the first time in school history 17 winters ago.
Back in 1997, I was a Red Lake High School freshman and team manager. I watched every minute of every game that magical season. I knew this team was special early on after we upset Class 4A Bemidji. We ended the regular season with one loss and beat tough teams in the playoffs, including the No. 1 team in state in the first round of the Class 1A state tournament.
Back then, the state quarterfinals were played in regional sites. So going to "state" wasn't until we played in the Twin Cities. Now was that moment.
The entire reservation was celebrating. The Red Lake Nation was on the ultimate high and was proud of its Warriors, the first all-Native team to qualify for the state tournament.
For Red Lake, basketball is a way of life. The game provides an outlet, hope and a sense of pride for the Red Lake people. The team wasn’t simply a roster of 15 young men; it was a nation – the Red Lake Nation.
When Friday night finally came, there was nothing left to do except play ball.
I will never forget walking into the Civic Center and seeing the mighty Red Lake crowd. Some estimated as many as 7,000 Red Lake fans packed the arena.
I don’t remember many details about practice leading up to the game or how the team prepared for Wabasso, a town most of us never heard of until we were scheduled to play. All I remember is our coach Jack Desjarlait telling me they played like us.
The game started fast and grew faster by the minute. Points piled up quickly and at the half, both teams had combined to score 100 points.
Wabasso started to pull away in the second half and led by 19 points heading into the final quarter and 18 points with a little less than 5 minutes left when it happened.
Gerald Kingbird, only a sophomore, repeatedly slashed through Wabasso’s defense and scored 19 of his 37 points in the final eight minutes, leading a furious rally that tied the game at the end of regulation.
In the end, Wabasso scored four more points than Red Lake in what was a record-setting game. The game is still talked about today.
I often wonder what would have happened if we won that game. In a way, I think we did.
You can watch video of the game here:
This is one of the reasons we like Twitter. After his Blaine team fell behind 4-0 early in the second period of the Class 2A hockey tournament six years ago, the starting goalie was pulled and Brent Hollerud took over in the nets.
Roseau went on to win 8-2.
Thursday, during the Roseau-Lakeville North quarterfinal game, Hollerud posted this:
In honor of Roseau being back in the Tourney, here's the box score from when they lit me up like a Christmas tree http://t.co/VoLZuSYP1c— Brent Hollerud (@Holly_Ruder) March 6, 2014
We went looking and found a photo, from a different game, of Hollerud having more success in goal:
Blaine won this game 6-0.
Hollerud's tweet and a whole bunch more are on the Star Tribune's state tournament Superblog. You can follow it here.
Gabe (Anderson) Grunewald, a former University of Minnesota athlete who is now a professional runner for Team USA Minnesota, won the U.S. indoor 3,000-meter championship Sunday in Albuquerque, N.M.
Then, hours later, she was disqualified for contact with another runner.
The ensuing firestorm of support from other U.S. runners resulted a controversy, and on Monday, USATF reinstated Grunewald -- a two-time cancer survivor and one of the most popular runners on the U.S. circuit -- to the U.S. title.
Grunewald tweeted (@gg_runs): "Just touched down in MN & thrilled to see news of my reinstatement. I hope this unfortunate situation can be avoided in the future."
Several stories with details of the controversy (note: some contain graphic language) and reports of a confrontation between Grunewald's husband and Nike coach Alberto Salazar can be found here.
The original protest was made by Salazar, who was the coach of the fourth-place runner, Jordan Hasay. From the sounds of the statement, Hasay supported reinstating Grunewald, forcing Salazar to acquiesce.
Here is the official USATF statement:
INDIANAPOLIS – Gabriele Grunewald has been reinstated as the 2014 USA indoor women’s 3,000-meter champion and named to Team USA for the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships, USATF CEO Max Siegel announced Monday. Grunewald will be joined by Shannon Rowbury in the women’s 3,000m at World Indoors, March 7-9 in Sopot, Poland.
Siegel on Monday spoke with representatives for Grunewald and Jordan Hasay, the two athletes involved in jostling during the women’s 3,000 contested Saturday at the 2014 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque. Grunewald won the race, followed by Rowbury, Sara Vaughn and Hasay, but she was ultimately disqualified by the Jury of Appeal for clipping Hasay’s stride. The final disqualification was made on the basis of enlarged, digital footage of the legs and feet of both athletes.
Siegel’s conversations included Paul Doyle, Grunewald’s representative, and Alberto Salazar, Hasay’s coach who had filed the initial protest and subsequent appeals. Salazar made clear that Hasay felt withdrawal was the right thing to do, and with the agreement of all parties, Grunewald was reinstated.
“I had productive discussions with both Paul and Alberto,” Siegel said. “Both are passionate people who passionately advocate for their athletes. And both want what is best for the sport and as well and its athletes.
“Our women’s track & field meet officials, who volunteer their time to serve the sport, made a field-of-play decision based on the video evidence they saw,” Siegel said. “They followed the process laid out in our competition rules, with no USATF employee or officer part of the appeal or the decision. We are all looking forward and will address our processes to try to minimize the potential for controversy or misunderstanding in the future.”
“As with all of the competitors who lined up on Saturday, I desperately wanted to make the team to represent the United States at the upcoming World Indoor Track and Field Championships. Since Saturday evening my emotions have ranged from despair to determination to go to Poland and represent my country as best I can. After much thought and consideration, however, I have decided to withdraw my protest as I do not want to make a national team under these circumstances. I wish all members of the USA team going to Poland my best and look forward to continuing to train hard and competing to represent the USA in future World Championship and Olympic Games.” said Hasay.
“I want to thank Max for his leadership in resolving this issue and Jordan for her withdrawal,” Doyle said. “Everyone was in a difficult situation. Jordan is a first-rate athlete and a class act. We appreciate getting this resolved.”
“My intention was what every coach wants - to advocate for my athlete,” Salazar said. “It was a physical race and when I saw the contact and the flag go up, I filed a protest. I appreciate Max’s involvement and wish nothing but the best for Gabe and Shannon in Sopot.”
Here is Team USA Minnesota's release from today:
Team USA Minnesota’s Gabriele Grunewald won the women’s 3000-meter race and Heather Kampf placed third in the women’s 1500 meters at the USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque Feb. 22-23. As as result of her first place finish, Grunewald has been named to the U.S. team for the IAAF World Indoor Championships that will be held in Sopot, Poland, March 7-9.
Two athletes from each event were selected for Worlds based on finishing place and whether they had the IAAF standard for the distance, which Grunewald had before competing at USA Indoor, an event that was held at altitude. Grunewald’s time was 9:23.15 in the 3000m. Although Grunewald was initially disqualified for an unintended minor contact with another athlete during the race, USA Track & Field reversed its decision two days after the event and reinstated her as the winner.
“Let me say how humbled I am by the support I received from administrators in the sport, the media and especially my fellow athletes,” said Grunewald regarding the DQ and reinstatement. “I am relieved that I can now turn my focus to the task that lies ahead in Sopot. For the first time I get to represent the United States at a major championships and I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity.”
Kampf’s time in the 1500 meters was 4:13.04. She led the race through 1100m, clicking off sub-35-second laps, and said her objective was to ensure a fast pace. Although she was passed by the eventual winner and the second place finisher and found herself in fifth place, she regrouped at the bell lap to take third. Her finishing place was just one spot out of being named to the U.S. team for Worlds.
Also competing at the USA Indoor Championships was Travis Burkstrand, who was running in his first national championship since graduating and becoming a professional distance runner with Team USA Minnesota last fall. Burkstrand competed in the men’s 1500 meter race and finished in 11th place with a time of 3:50.20.
All three athletes are graduates of the University of Minnesota where they competed collegiately. With Grunewald’s win, Team USA Minnesota runners have now achieved 21 National Championships - on the track, roads and in cross country at distances ranging from the 1500 meters up through the marathon.
A CBSSports.com report on the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks pursuing Kevin Love ahead of the NBA trade deadline got quite the reaction from Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on Tuesday night: No, no, no.
"If you read about it, you know it's not true. I don't know if we got the Beach Boys booked, "Cuban said before Dallas lost to Miami 117-106, according to the Dallas Morning News in a post headlined "Mark Cuban squashes crazy Kevin Love speculation." The Beach Boys reference is to Kevin's uncle Mike, a founding member of the band.
Calling it laughable, ESPNDallas.com also pointed out all the obstacles:
"The first is that there is “no way” the Minnesota Timberwolves are dealing Love before Thursday’s trade deadline, as a source told CBSSports.com, which makes the splashy headline about the Mavs and Los Angeles Lakers attempting to put together packages for Love pretty much pointless.
Another problem: Even if the Timberwolves were considering trading Love, what the heck could the Mavs offer to keep Minnesota GM Flip Saunders from hanging up and/or cracking up? The Mavs can’t offer future first-round picks, the most valuable currency in today’s trade market, because they owe Oklahoma City a top-20 protected first-rounder."
Ken Berger's report cites that "it is widely known around the league" that Love and his agent "are determined to get him to a major market." But even before Berger says that, he writes "the Timberwolves have given no indication they's consider moving the All-Star forward."
And four paragraphs later, Berger again throws cold water on his own report, citing "a person familiar" with Flip Saunders' strategy that there is "no way" the Wolves will trade ahead of the deadline.
A.J. Pierzynski began his stint with the Red Sox on Saturday in Fort Myers by looking back at his time in town with the Twins' rookie league team there 20 YEARS AGO. Then, ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes got him reflecting on his time in A ball playing and hanging out with David Ortiz, who will be his teammate again.
After recounting a game-winning homer by Ortiz, Pierzynski threw a little salt in Twins fans wounds again:
"Coming to Boston was the best thing that ever happened to him," Pierzynski said of Ortiz. "He was never given the freedom in Minnesota to become what he has become. Not because of anything, just because of the way it was over there; they ran a little bit of a different ship."
Speaking of Ortiz, he had an explosive Tuesday morning in Fort Myers, in the batting cage and in quotes with the Boston Herald about his quest for a contract extension that resonated over the Internet, at least what could be printed about his critics:
"(Expletive) them. I'm tired of hearing them talk (expletive) about me when I talk about my contract. Hey, every time I talk about my contract, I earn it, (expletive). So don't be giving me that (expletive).”
Wednesday, Ortiz will speak again, in his "State of Papi" news conference. Just so you don't think he's snarling, he also told the Herald "he's living the dream," which on Tuesday included this massive autograph session. One fan asked Ortiz to sign his Champagne bottle.
|Baseball (1)||Basketball (1)|
|Football (1)||Vikings (48)|
|People (30)||WNBA (1)|
|Bears (4)||Ex-Vikings (2)|
|Lions (4)||NFC (4)|
|Packers (7)||Super Bowl (6)|
|Vikings defense (2)||Vikings fans (3)|
|Vikings special teams (1)||Off the field (4)|
|On the road (6)||Quarterbacks (2)|
|Vikings draft (3)||Ron Gardenhire (1)|
|Twins game coverage (2)||Twins offense (1)|
|Twins pitching (1)||Edina (1)|
|Vikings players (1)||Adrian Peterson (1)|
|Brad Childress (1)||Brett Favre (3)|
|Bryant McKinnie (3)||Chad Greenway (1)|
|Chris Kluwe (5)||Darrell Bevell (1)|
|Jared Allen (2)||John Sullivan (1)|
|Kevin Williams (1)||Leslie Frazier (2)|
|Percy Harvin (3)||Brad Childress (1)|
|Darrell Bevell (1)||Leslie Frazier (2)|
|NHL news (3)||MLB (2)|
|Twins Players (1)||Glen Perkins (1)|
|Joe Mauer (1)||Twins (5)|
|Lynx (1)||Gophers sports (1)|