Dakota Challenge notes

I was up in Sioux Falls for part of Wednesday afternoon to shoot & cover the Dakota Challenge AAU girls’ basketball tournament at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls.

Why did I make the trip?

In short: I was bored. Without a ‘summer project,’ I’ve been going crazy. Amateur baseball is one of my favorite sports to cover, but beyond that, there hasn’t been a lot going on. So I needed to do something I enjoy: Basketball and recruiting.

Here was my story

Some extra tidbits from the action:

• Dakota Schoolers coach Jamie Parish had some good things to say about taking over the Sioux Falls Washington girls’ basketball job. Parish, a Yankton native, previously coached in Vermillion and Centerville before moving to Sioux Falls.

“We love being in Sioux Falls,” he said, referring to his wife, Laura. “And to be honest, I wasn’t looking for a head coaching opportunity. But this was one I couldn’t pass up.”

Replacing Nate Malchow, who guided the Warriors to three state titles, won’t be easy, Parish pointed out.

“I’m sure the same people said that about following Fred Tibbetts (S.F. Roosevelt) or Rob Van Laecken (Parkston),” he said. “Or you can see the benefit of it — let’s keep the momentum rolling.”

• About his Schoolers 16s team, Parish said one player has already verbally committed to an NCAA Division I program. He didn’t identify the player by name, but that player is junior Megan Bultsma from Mount Vernon-Plankinton (she committed to South Dakota State last year).

• On the idea of recruiting, Parish said SDSU and the University of South Dakota have both attended every Schoolers game this summer — “because they want to see those kids stay in South Dakota.”

Tim Miles at Nebraska is the perfect example, Parish said.

“He’s starting to turn things around down there,” Parish said. “And he’s said that he wants the best kids in Nebraska to stay in Nebraska, and then you can go work on the next state over.”

• While I was at the Sanford Pentagon on Wednesday afternoon, coaches from every collegiate level in South Dakota were in attendance — USD/SDSU on down to the NAIA ranks, including both coaches from Mount Marty College.

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