Posted On: 08/10/18 4:02 PM

What is the moment to remember from the 17U season?  For many teams there are many but for us at NHR these are the moments that will etched in our minds from this 17u season, team by team.


D1 Minnesota. This is a 40-4 team so to recall a loss is, odd, but the game with the Compton Magic that went into double overtime was so fun that it doesn’t matter.  D1’s season will be remembered for the way they played as a unit and in that game it wasn’t just the way they played together, but also how the talent competed against the top 17u team in the nation.

Grassroots Sizzle. I would say outside of the tall and long young starting five walking on the floor to face Meanstreets, I will always remember that crazy shot that Jalen Suggs made full court from 80 feet.  The entire sequence was ridiculous.  You can talk about luck but for me the interception into a cannon of an arm accurately getting the ball to the rim was unreal. 

Minnesota Fury. The win over Houston Hoops in Vegas.  The Minnesota Fury loves Vegas.  They do magical things there.  I don’t care if there isn’t a big event there next year, they should spend a weekend in Vegas anyway finding somebody, anybody to play.  The clutch shots from Sam Nissen and Jack Middleton, the Dane Zimmer 6 for 6, Charlie Gorres rebounds, and Cole Nicholson buckets will stay with me. 

Howard Pulley.  I don’t recall which EYBL game it was in LA but I remember Pulley playing the young guards (Blaise and Lu’Cye) and beating one of the better EYBL teams with excellent ball movement slicing the zone.  The play I will always remember is the David Roddy tomahawk dunk in Vegas.  Mean, nasty, and from several feet out.

Minnesota Comets. July finish.  Matt Johnson and Issac Fink had a wonderful July and Fink’s 24 threes combined in his final four games in Vegas was a special finish.  Isaac is going to Augustana which is a great choice for him, still wish he would of got a D1 offer to prove my thoughts that he can play at that level because I certainly think he can. 

WOTN. Eli Mostaert averaged 4.9 points per game as a Lakeville North junior.  Gavin Patton averaged 7.6 at Minnetonka.  These two got better with WOTN, and helped lead WOTN over some of the best teams in the SPTS this year.  It’s a testament to them, to WOTN, and to team basketball.

Heat Nelson.  No doubt I will remember the way that Heat Nelson won the state tournament.  The confident way that Jared Rainey, Ricky Eason, Jacob Johnson, Elijah Barlue, Josh Albers, and others meshed to have the chemistry of a winner is something that will stick with me.

SE Minnesota Lightning. Not in a million years did I think that the Lightning was going to be a final four team at the Proving Grounds.  The game winner from Dylan Miller in the elite eight was a top memory as was the way they competed making college coaches flip through their packets. 32-9!!!!

SW Minnesota Stars. For me it will be two things: 1) watching the Hansens sit in a stance and hound people.  Let’s be real here, some very good names from Howard Pulley couldn’t handle their defense and got sat down. 2) the Cole Woodford performance at state, and in KC vs Pulley.  Memorable.

Heat MacDonald.  Sam Schwartz. Present that kid with the Mr. Heat Award this year.  Stayed the course, gelled with friends, earned his way to playing at Southwest Minnesota State.  Now go get things done at WBL Sam, that community deserves a good season and you guys there have the talent to do it.

Comets K. A first weekend final four run beating WOTN and 44 Elite set the tone.  A team that played great team basketball and has several kids now getting offers (Nick Schaefer, Mike Ziermann, Jackson Jangula, and Drew Gustafson are ones that jump off the brain).

Mentality Minnesota. The intensity of which this team played, and the way they got better.  I can’t pinpoint when they had a moment that really jumped out at me but I do recall listening to coaches educate and I recall seeing numerous players on that team improve from view to view.

Comets DLR. So fun.  One of my favorite teams to watch.  DeLo rules and he had guys get better all year.  I think in Vegas watching every single player on the team make a big play in a win and seeing all of the players jump around in support will stick out in my mind.  And DeLo, I think I finally have my idea for you!!!!

44 Elite.  Finding them in Vegas crushing a team and everyone on the bench having a grand ole time.  That game reminded me that going to Vegas is more than business, it’s about fun.  Fun on the court letting loose and getting a big win to enjoy, fun with teammates to be there, and just enjoying it all instead of worrying about the business side.

D1 Minnesota Rise. Jake Kettner didn’t have a great game in early June but at the state tournament I recall seeing his reaction to when he was having a tough shooting day.  There was no pouting or visible frustration, it was Jake being verbal to teammates, Jake passing the ball to others to get them going, and it was Jake getting his game back and scoring the needed baskets to get the Rise a win when it wasn’t a good day shot wise.  That was when I felt strong that Jake is going to be a good NSIC player.

Select Leafblad. I will recall the Malik Willingham massive game in Vegas when he missed a triple double by a rebound but helped Bradley Winter go 13 for 13 from the floor with a huge number of assists plus about 20 points.  That was also the score table screw up.

Rip City. No doubt watching Donn Ward dunk on the Fury like it was a dunk contest.  Some of the throw downs he had on that day rank with the best I’ve ever seen. Having a dunk contest?  Get Donn Ward.  Also, Ward scored 17 a game as a junior at Como Park as he can do more than dunk.