Posts Tagged ‘basketball’


The official program for the National Junior College Athletic Association’s women’s basketball tournament listed the years of service for seven of the eight coaches who took their teams to the three-day event a few weeks ago in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. None of those seven were longtime veterans. Six years. Seven years. One year. None of those seven had even 10 years on the bench with their school.

For some reason, there was no listing of years for the coach of the Minnesota West Lady Jays, the two-year program out of Worthington, Minnesota. My uncle Mike Fury led the Lady Jays into the national tourney. It was his first appearance in nationals as coach at Minnesota West. His first appearance in 34 years on the bench. I’m not sure why the program didn’t list his years of tenure — perhaps Mike simply didn’t include the info or the person entering the data couldn’t believe anyone would last that long as coach at a community college. High school coaches last for 34 years. Coaches at four-year schools can last for 34 years. Rarely does a community college coach last for 34 years at one school. Monday, Mike made official what he’d known for awhile and what many of us in the family speculated about for months: The 2015 season was his last. My old boss in Worthington Doug Wolter wrote a really nice piece about Mike’s retirement announcement for the Daily Globe.

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Faribault Bethlehem Academy boys basketball coach Franz Boelter announced his retirement on Tuesday. In 36 years of coaching — six in tiny Medford, 30 more in the small private school about 50 miles south of Minneapolis — Boelter went 613-290, the seventh-most victories of any boys basketball coach in state history. He won 14 Gopher Conference championships at B.A., eight district and sub-section titles. His 1993 Cardinals team placed second in the Class A state tournament, back when there were only two classes in Minnesota. A year later the Cardinals placed third. That’s on the basketball court. As volleyball coach at B.A. Boelter has proven even more dominant, winning an astounding six state championships. There are very few coaches in Minnesota — if any outside of former Tracy-Milroy and Marshall coach Terry Culhane — who have enjoyed that type of two-sport success. He will continue on as B.A’s volleyball coach and will continue to contend for state championships.

But to really see Boelter’s greatness as a coach, go back to his Medford years. Medford won the Gopher Conference in 1981 and 1982 and that doesn’t sound like it compares to section and state titles, but after Boelter left Medford won a single Gopher Conference title. No one wins in Medford. Franz did.

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A little book news

Posted: February 14, 2014 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Blood. Salt. Cod. Spice. Tuna. Fat. Bananas. Potatoes. Milk. Flotsam. And Jetsam. Wood. Garbage. Human waste.

Those are some of the subjects of books the past decade or so. I’ve read many of them — including ones mentioned above — and have enjoyed nearly all of them. The first thought when seeing the title is “How can anyone write an entire book about that one thing” followed by, “Why didn’t I think of that?” These books describe one thing but also write about how it affects the world. They’re about one seemingly small thing that influences nearly everything. Over the years I’ve tried thinking of something that would work for that type of book. What about beds? Or pillows? Pencils? Ink? The problem was everything’s been done, or so it seems. The other problem? If you’re going to write a book it has to be something you care about, and if you’re going to write a good book it should be something you’re passionate about.

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Disclaimer: These are the ramblings of an aging has-been. Yes, there are more important things to worry about. Yes, this sounds like someone screaming about people getting off his lawn. I know, I know.

On Tuesday night I braved the elements, walked two blocks and wandered into my old high school at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton and watched the boys basketball team. The locals lost a two-point game. I wish the Bulldogs had won but the result also provided the one present all former players want: Evidence that my era’s team would have mopped the floor with these youngsters. What else could aging, graying, paunch-carrying middle-aged men want?

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With the NBA’s Christmas Day games proving disastrous, at least those involving New York, many people focused on what the players wore instead of what they did in them. The league squeezed the players into new sleeved uniforms, debuting them on the NBA’s marquee day.

Seemingly no one liked them, and they didn’t make any sense, from a design or functional perspective. Before the game, LeBron James mentioned that some of his teammates were concerned that the sleeves would hurt their shooting, a legitimate fear as anyone who’s worn a T-shirt during a pickup game can testify. Extra clothing can restrict the shoulders or even implant something mentally that influences a shot. Not that it ended up bothering Ray Allen, who would shoot 50 percent from the 3-point line in the nude or in gear worn by hikers going up Mount Everest.

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More foolishness on this week’s edition of the TVFury podcast as the guys muddle their way through Kobe’s return, building furniture from IKEA and buying birthday gifts for babies.

We dare you to listen to the full 23 minutes.

Here’s the link.


High school basketball started in Minnesota, and in related news I’m still dreaming about my last high school game. Had a good one two nights ago, though that game didn’t make an appearance. Made like 10 straight 3-pointers on picture night.

In preparation of the new season, a look back at some old games and highlights, found while crawling through the depths of YouTube.

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Last Friday I turned on NBA League Pass and found my way to the Bucks-Celtics game, also known as the game 97 percent of South Dakota residents were following, even those who had previously sworn off the NBA sometime around 1971 because “no one plays defense like they did when Cousy played.” Former South Dakota State standout Nate Wolters plays for Milwaukee now. I tuned in to see how he was doing, but mostly I turned it on because I saw that a big Celtics lead had been cut to nothing late in the game.

Almost immediately I let out a chuckle, as I sat, alone, in my New York City apartment. Who were these people in the Celtics uniforms? Gerald Wallace, yes. And other names you’d recognize: Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee. But Vitor Faverani? Worse, when forming a group of five people to play at once they looked out of sorts, confused and just plain bad; some of them looked oddly shaped in their uniforms. Milwaukee, and Wolters, eventually won and all the while longtime Celtics announcer Tommy Heinsonh bemoaned the fact Boston hadn’t run like earlier in the game. It was fun.

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The first games of an NBA season don’t carry the prestige of opening day in baseball or the opening week of the NFL season. There’s nothing poetic about them, no national celebration that includes new songs from our favorite country singers. The start of the NBA season is simply the first chapter in a book that can seem neverending.

Still, it’s always nice to welcome back the league. Answers to the big questions won’t come for months — can the Heat repeat, can Derrick Rose return to form, can Kobe do the same, can the Timberwolves make the playoffs — but there’s always a chance for memorable moments. As the 2014 season begins, a look back at some top opening nights from the past:

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At long last, the NBA season is (almost) upon us.

TV and Fury take an early look at potential contenders, as well as breaking down another NBA preview podcast.

It’s all very meta.

Here’s the link.