Each week, commenter Stu hunts down a former Minnesota sports figure about whom you might have forgotten. This week, he delivers in triplicate! Stu?



The Hunt Down

Names: Ernest Nzigamasabo, Russ Archambault, Hosea Crittenden
Backstory: RandBall Weekend Editor Jon Marthaler asked if I’d ever tried looking for these three Haskins-era Gophers. The answer is yes, but all three had come up wanting for information on their current whereabouts. Thanks to the advent of social media, however, revisiting these lost causes has borne fruit. (That said, no, I don’t know where Hosken Powell is. Please send any tips you may have to randballsstu@yahoo.com.)
Claims to Fame, Minnesota: all three players have a place in Gophers basketball lore, for better or worse. 
  • Nzigamasabo is a native of Burundi and graduate of Mound-Westonka. Some would say he was Ralph Sampson III before the fact, a towering, skinny low-post player who would disappear for games at a time. In his defense, there was incredible turmoil involving his country and family at the time, as this 1994 Minnesta Daily article from Joe Christensen notes. 
  • Crittenden, a Rosemount grad and the very last man on the bench, was beloved by the Williams Arena faithful, who would call for him to play when a game got out of hand. Made a memorable 3-pointer as the clock ticked down on Hosea Crittenden Night
Claims to Fame, Everywhere Else: Archambault was the NAIA Player of the Year at Huron University, which is where he landed after being dismissed from the Gophers program; Nzigamasabo played professionally in Japan and Australia, and later coached in Australia as well.
Where They Are Now: thanks to LinkedIn, we know that Nzigamasabo is still in Australia and working as a Product Development Manager for the Trust Company; thanks to Facebook, we know that Archambault currently lives in Miami and plays basketball for the Plainzmen of the 4C Sports Miami-Dade County 5-on-5 adult basketball league; thanks to the White Pages, we know that there are two people named Hosea Crittenden in the United States, one in Cleveland and the other in Inglewood, California. If anyone has better intel than that on him, please let us know in the comments.
Are They on Twitter: there are three Twitter accounts attached to the name “Ernest Nzigamasabo,” but none confirmed; neither Crittenden nor Archambault appear to be on it.
Proprietor note: A member of the RandBall inner circle has a tremendous story about one of these three men, which unfortunately is not fit for public consumption. If you can guess who the RBICM is, and guess which of these three hunted down players it involves, feel free to ask said inner circle member about it sometime.
Glorious Randomness: a very good caper/heist movie could be built on the premise of a bunch of local Gophers hoops fans in the not-too-distant future looking to rescue the 1997 Final Four banner from the bowels of a slated-for-demolition Williams Arena. Can the ragtag crew of misfits save it before the building and all its rats are imploded into dust? I would watch this movie, and I would cast Hollywood superhunk Channing Tatum and local media gadfly Dana Wessel as the leads.


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