The Howard Pulley Panthers 17U boys’ basketball team, led by SACAR ANIM (DeLaSalle), BROCK BERTRAM (Apple Valley), BJORN BROMAN (Lakeview Christian), AMIR COFFEY (Hopkins), JOSH COLLINS (DeLaSalle), ALEX ILLIKAINEN (Grand Rapids), JARVIS JOHNSON (DeLaSalle), SAM NEUMANN (Cretin-Derham Hall), BRADY REINKE (Prairie Seed Academy), JOE ROSGA (Cretin-Derham Hall) and DANIEL PRILLO (Sioux City, IA-North), recently qualified for the Peach Jam tournament in July by posting a 4-1 record at the fourth and final session of the 2014 Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) held at the High Performance Academy in Eagan last weekend.
The Panthers, who are coached by ANTWAN HARRIS and DEDRICK JENKINS, defeated the New York Lightning (60-58), Baltimore Elite (77-55), Northwest Express (70-64), and the New York Express (70-64) while losing to King James Shooting (74-70).
Here are some people worth a mention who were spotted during the final session.
RENE PULLEY — The executive director and CEO of Howard Pulley since 1985 has developed one of the country’s premier AAU programs.
GEORGE RAVELING — The former Washington State, Iowa, USC and Olympic coach, now Nike’s director of international basketball, was the first African American head coach in the PAC 8 Conference.
ANFERNEE HARDAWAY — The former Memphis State and NBA All-Star was in Eagan coaching Memphis, Tennessee-based Team Penny.
TODD DAY — The former University of Arkansas star and Memphis native, who later had a successful eight-year NBA career, was coaching Team Penny.
ASHLEY ELLIS-MILAN — The former St. Paul Central and University of Minnesota standout, now an assistant girls’ coach at Minneapolis South, led her high school team to the 2005 Class 4A state tournament.
CURTIS JOHNSON — He, along with brother Terrell, put Minneapolis Patrick Henry on the state boys’ basketball map in the mid-1980s.
SAM ANIM — He led DeLaSalle to the Class A state title while playing forward in 1988.
WILLIE BRAIZEL — The current Bloomington Kennedy boys’ coach, who also coaches the 16U for Howard Pulley, had outstanding coaching stints at Minneapolis Roosevelt (girls) and Columbia Heights.
TYUS JONES — The Duke-bound McDonald’s All-American from Apple Valley, who led Howard Pulley to a national championship last year, was also the state’s 40th Mr. Basketball winner.
LARRY SUGGS — The former Woodbury basketball star, who was filming for MyRecruitEZ, is one of the most respected members of the youth basketball community.
MICHAEL BINNS — The former St. Paul Highland Park all-Conference guard during the mid-1980s was also filming for MyRecruitEZ.
ALLINA STARR — The guard, who burst on the scene as an eighth grader at Minneapolis North, led DeLaSalle to three state Class 3A girls’ basketball crowns and recently finished her freshman year at Auburn.
SEANNA JOHNSON — The Iowa State University guard, who teamed with Starr at North and DeLaSalle’s three-peat, was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team this past season.
RICO ALEXANDER — He played for Minneapolis North in the 1980s, leading them to a third-place Class 2A state tournament finish.
ART BLAKEY — The forward had a successful prep basketball career at St. Agnes.
REGGIE PERKINS — The former St. Cloud State University and Harlem Globetrotter player, who coached Minneapolis Washburn to the Class 3A boys’ title in 2009, is now the school’s athletic director.
RICHARD COFFEY — He led the Gophers to NCAA tournament runs in 1989 and 1990.
MARCUS FULLER — The St. Paul Pioneer Press sports writer is one of the best in the business.
TANYSHA SCOTT — The former DeLaSalle and UMD star recently finished her first season as head coach for Minneapolis South’s girls’ team.
DEREK REUBEN — The 1988 Mr. Basketball boys’ basketball player from Minneapolis North was passing out fliers for the 21st Inner City All-Star Classic, which will be held Sunday June 8.
Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to [email protected].