OUR VIEW: Classic great for Palace, fans and MitchellThe second annual Mike Miller Classic opens today at the Corn Palace, and it’s expected to once again showcase some of the best basketball talent in the country.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
The second annual Mike Miller Classic opens today at the Corn Palace, and it’s expected to once again showcase some of the best basketball talent in the country.
But what’s really being showcased? The talent of the many fine players who will suit up for the various teams, or the Corn Palace itself?
We like to think a little of both. Actually, a lot of both.
Mitchell is a basketball town, and of that there is little doubt. Over the past few decades, we’ve been spoiled somewhat by the quality of players to pass through the doors of Mitchell High School, Dakota Wesleyan University and Mitchell Christian High.
At Wesleyan, we’ve seen two national college players of the year (Scott and Randi Morgan) and five players score at least 2,000 career points (Alan Miller, Scott Morgan, Randi Morgan, Greg Hansen and Brady Wiebe). We’ve enjoyed watching some of the nation’s best teams, including the early 2000s women’s basketball team that twice finished in the Final Four at the national tournament.
Eleven Wesleyan players have been named all-America and another 11 have earned honorable mention.
Mitchell High School’s basketball legend is equally strong.
The boys’ basketball team has won 13 state titles and finished second six times. The girls’ basketball program has won four titles and finished second five times.
This city’s Class B school, Mitchell Christian, only began playing varsity basketball in the 1990s, but won a state boys’ title in 2003 and a girls’ title in 2006. The school also produced a second-place boys’ finish at the 2007 state tournament.
And, of course, there’s Mike Miller, the local high school star who has gone on to a long and successful career in the NBA.
We are pleased to see the Mike Miller Classic being played at the Corn Palace. Over the past century, this historic building built a name for itself as a touted concert hall and a standing ode to agricultural success. That’s the way it should be, and we all should be proud of that heritage.
But today’s Corn Palace also is known nationwide as a place where great basketball players display their talents, where great teams come for competition and where great coaches impress us with their flair and knowledge of the game.
The Mike Miller Classic continues all of these traditions, and best yet, it introduces the Palace to thousands who otherwise may not know that Mitchell, S.D., even exists.
More great players — players we’ve never seen or heard of before — are at the Corn Palace this week. Perhaps they will add to the building’s basketball mystique, much like Miller did himself while playing for Mitchell High a little more than a decade ago.
The Mike Miller Classic is great for Mitchell, great for basketball fans and even better for the Corn Palace.