MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Minnesota may be known as the state of hockey, but basketball is pretty popular here, too. In fact, the state will soon have a high school basketball hall of fame.
"I think you can say basketball in Minnesota is alive and well," said hall of famer Dean Verdoes.
The first-ever class of inductees was honored Monday night at Minneapolis' Target Center during the Timberwolves' game.
"We have tremendous talent here...must be something in the water in the 10,000 lakes producing these basketball players," said hall of famer Khalid El-Amin. "I'm humbled. I'm very happy my family is here to witness this, and it's just a big honor for me."
Among the list of inductees is four-time WNBA Champion and former Gophers star Lindsay Whalen, as well as former Timberwolves coach Kevin McHale and the entire 1960 Edgerton boys' team.
"I think it's great, give a lot of kids something to strive for," Whalen said.
"i'm a little shocked we didn't have one before," said hall of famer Randy Breuer. "I was talking to a guy from South Dakota, and they've had one for nine years, so we're behind South Dakota. I don't know what Governor Dayton will think about that."
The full list of inductees is:
- Lindsay Whalen (Hutchinson)
- Kevin McHale (Hibbing)
- Randy Breuer (Lake City)
- Ron Johnson (New Prague)
- Edgerton Boys Basketball 1960 team
- Khalid El-Amin (Minneapolis North)
- Myron Glass (Rochester)
- Bob McDonald (Chisholm)
- Jim McIntyre (Minneapolis Patrick Henry)
- Mark Olberding (Melrose)
- Grand Meadow Girls Basketball 1929-1939 team
- Janet Karvonen-Montgomery (New York Mills)
- Dorothy McIntyre (associate director of MSHSL)
- Faith Johnson Patterson (Minneapolis North/DeLaSalle)
The names represent nearly a century of Minnesota high school basketball and will continue being added to on an annual basis. A permanent display at the Target Center will honor the inductees, who are chosen by a select group of "coaches, fans, journalists, historians and aficionados," according to the hall of fame's website.