Former Mr. Basketball Winners Brought Together
Before the Wolves took on the Houston Rockets, former award winners were able to catch up at the Target Center
On April 11 as the Minnesota Timberwolves hosted the Houston Rockets, there was plenty of talent in the Target Center ranging beyond the basketball court.
Upstairs on the suite level, there were 10 former Minnesota Mr. Basketball award winners gathered together to chat hoops. Surprisingly enough, it was the first time the group has really had an organized outing.
“We’ve never done something like this,” said President of Mr. Basketball, Ken Lien. “This is kind of a build up for what we want to do in maybe another year or two… They love it. They’ve never been together before as a group.”
Among the 10 in attendance, two are pretty recognizable names to younger basketball fans. Jordan Taylor, who was named to the First Team All-Big Ten in 2011 as a member of the Wisconsin Badgers, was in attendance.
The former Benilde-St. Margaret’s star said the conversations went well, and going into it, he wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
“I really didn’t know what to expect,” Taylor said. “I thought it’d be cool to kind of see some of the guys that paved the way for us younger guys.”
Former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher and award winner in 2007, Blake Hoffarber was also in attendance. He wasn’t surprised on how smooth the conversations went.
“I’m not surprised, everyone loves basketball,” Hoffarber said. “They love playing it.”
Three guys that helped pave the way were not in the suite, but were in the same building. Kevin Lynch and Jim Petersen of Fox Sports North were in the house covering the game. Lynch was named Mr. Basketball in 1987, while Petersen was named in 1980.
Kevin McHale, coach of the Rockets, was also in attendance. He earned the award in 1976.
Lien attempted to get the three up to the suite level, but their work schedules did not allow them too.
The event was still a success. The former winners talked about schemes, coaches and how times have changes.
Lien said that he hopes to put together something every 3-5 years that could result in charity golf tournaments. We wouldn’t mind hearing some of the stories that some of these fantastic basketball players. It would be an interesting mix of young and old players.
We hope Mr. Lien succeeds in his attempt to bring for Mr. Basketball award winners together.