Photos of Duluth Central state basketball title celebration, 1961

March 1961

This month marks the 51st anniversary of the 1961 Duluth Central boys basketball team winning the state title with a 51-50 victory over Bemidji in the Twin Cities. Here are a few photos from the News Tribune archives of the celebration upon the team’s return to Duluth; click on the photos for a larger version:

For more on Central, take a look at this previous Attic post.

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Duluth’s Don Ness: player before mayor

As the Minnesota high school basketball season concludes, 2010 also marked the end of Duluth Central and its basketball team with the upcoming closing of the school.

Duluth Central basketball player Don Ness (front) had a quiet moment on the bus next to the state tournament plaque the team received on their trip back to Duluth from St. Paul on March 29, 1992. In the back reading a newspaper was Erik Reinertsen and playing cards were Dave Berntson and Todd Hanson. Clara Wu / Duluth News Tribune

Looking back at Duluth Central basketball, one player on the 1992 Trojan team that went to the state tournament was Don Ness, who later would become mayor of Duluth. Here’s a brief look at that March in 1992, where the Trojans finished with a third-place finish.

Duluth Central’s Don Ness makes a basket against Moorhead in the third-place game at the state tournament at the St. Paul Civic Center. Clara Wu / Duluth News Tribune

Duluth Central players celebrate after a win at the 1992 state boys basketball tournament in St. Paul. Players are (from left) Don Ness, Elisha Sickler, Erik Reinertsen and Bill Irving. Clara Wu / Duluth News Tribune

Dave Nevanen, copy editor

Kevin McHale

Hibbing native Kevin McHale played basketball at all levels, including the University of Minnesota and in the NBA with the Boston Celtics during the 1980s and early 1990s. He later became a front office member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, including a stint as coach. Here are some notable encounters for McHale.

Dave Nevanen/copy editor

Bob Zbasnik tries to guard Kevin McHale. 1978 / Duluth News Tribune

Bill Walton (left) makes a point to Kevin McHale when the Celtics were playing in the NBA Championship in 1986. Associated Press

Kevin McHale collars Kurt Rambis of the Lakers during the 1984 NBA playoffs. Ironically, Rambis replaced McHale as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2009. Associated Press

Detroit Pistons’ Dennis Rodman (center) reels backward after Kevin McHale (left) of the Celtics hit him in the neck in 1991. Looking on is Larry Bird. Associated Press

Kevin McHale (right) made a cameo appearance on the NBC comedy "Cheers" in 1990. Bartender Sam Malone (Ted Danson, left) tried to convince McHale of the Celtics to play for Cheers in a basketball game against a rival tavern. Photo by NBC