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Minnesota sports, as seen elsewhere

UND hockey star Brock Boeser to take student with Down syndrome to prom

Burnsville native Brock Boeser won a college hockey national championship and earned First Team All-America honors during his freshman season at North Dakota.

Now he’s making a difference in the community.

The Grand Forks Herald reported that Boeser will take Grand Forks Central's Homecoming Queen Baylee Bjorge to prom Saturday night. Bjorge, who was born with Down syndrome, has been a faithful fan at local sporting events and developed a strong group of friends among the student body.

Bjorge created a Twitter account and asked Boeser to prom, but her mother Katie Marcotte quickly shut down the account without knowing Bjorge had reached out to the North Dakota standout.

That didn’t stop Boeser from accepting Bjorge's invitation. He tracked down Marcotte’s phone number and asked permission to take her daughter to the prom. After some convincing from Marcotte’s son, a high school hockey player, the date was confirmed.

Here is an excerpt from the report:

Marcotte didn't know much about Boeser, though. She asked her oldest son, Boe, one of the top scorers on the Central boys hockey team: "Who is this kid?"

"He said, 'Are you serious? He's one of the best hockey players in the country. That's amazing,' " Marcotte said.

Bjorge hadn't planned on going to prom, but quickly found a dress Tuesday while she was on vacation with her family in Florida. She's returning Friday from the vacation.

Boeser, a first-round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks, is Baylee's favorite player.

"I'm excited," Baylee said. "It's amazing."

Marcotte said: "I just couldn't believe how he went way out of his way to track us down."

Boeser, a first-round draft pick (No. 23 overall) of the Vancouver Canucks, announced he would return for his sophomore season despite his standout rookie year.

The 19-year-old told the Vancouver Sun “I can’t really explain the feeling when we won [the national championship]. The development I did this year has kind of opened my eyes to how good I can be. That really excites me.

“It wasn’t that hard a decision [to return]. I think Vancouver and I were on the same page. Another year would really help me develop. I think I took a big step this year and I think I can take another step next year. [The Canucks] agreeing with me really helped. They didn’t push on me.

“I think it helps me build a relationship with them. It made it easier for me to make the decision to stay.”

Boeser scored 46 points in 24 games during his junior season at Burnsville High School and was the 2014 Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year. He originally committed to Wisconsin, but decommitted and changed his focus to North Dakota, Minnesota Duluth and the Gophers, before settling on UND. 

Bud Grant is having yet another garage sale

About a decade ago, former Vikings coach Bud Grant decided to get rid of a bunch of old stuff by having a garage sale. But there's been enough to get rid of -- or maybe more things were dug up -- that Grant has turned the sale into an annual event.

In 2014, Grant decided to use social media (and other media) to get the word out. And this week he's using Twitter to let people know that his 2016 sale is scheduled for May 18-20 in Bloomington.

No early birds, please.

Here's Bud on Twitter with details about the upcoming sale:

The address is 8134 Oakmere Road in Bloomington.

Here's a look back at the 2014 sale, the first one that was heavily advertised.

In case you're wonderinng: When you've coached a Minnesota football team in four Super Bowls, we'll publicize your garage sale, too. (And you don't even have to win any of them.)