The North Community High School boys’ basketball team won the Class A State Championship on March 12 by beating Goodhue 68-45! Three of the North players, Tyler Johnson, Jamil Jackson Jr. and ODell Wilson IV were named to the All Tournament Team.
The last time the Polars won a state title was in 2003. Coach Larry McKenzie, who is inspiring these young men to do well both on and off the court, previously took Patrick Henry’s teams to state titles. He has the highest overall winning percentage in the state tournament, 15-1 overall with five state championships. Former Viking Leo Lewis is the athletic director at North High.
The resurgence of the schools’ athletic teams is part of a larger renewal of North High, which almost closed in 2010, and also includes new programs and a significant increase in the graduation rate. The winning records of the football and basketball teams have been a source of community pride.
The Lowry Bridge was lit up in the school colors of blue and white on March 12 to celebrate the win. The team and coaches were honored at the state capital by the House of Representatives on March 17, and were honored at the Minneapolis City Council meeting on March 18.
You can follow the basketball team on Face Book at “Minneapolis North Polar Boys’ Basketball Page.”