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Murdo gymnasium to be named for Harold Thune

Harold Thune

Sen. John Thune has received many honors during his two decades of public service.

But he's yet to have a building named for him. His father Harold Thune, meanwhile, will be able to make that claim tonight.

The Jones County School District's auditorium will be named the Harold Thune Arena during ceremonies tonight kicking off the Jones County Invitational Tournament. The elder Thune was a longtime teacher, coach and athletic director at the school.

"This is awfully nice of the town and the school," Sen. Thune said. "Certainly a great honor for my dad."

The floor at the gym is being named for Jerald Applebee, who like Thune was a teacher and coach at Murdo High School and the unified Jones County School District. Former superintendent Maurice Haugland is also being honored.

Harold Thune, a Mitchell native, starred in basketball at Murdo High School and also played for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. He is a member of the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

The senior Thune, who is now 93, launched the tourney in the late 1960s. This year's edition will be the 45th tournament.

His four sons and daughter plan to attend tonight's event. Harold Thune's wife Yvonne "Pat" Thune died March 7 at the age of 90.

John Thune played on Murdo High School teams that competed in the tournament four times, and won the Jones County Invitational in 1977 and 1978. The senior Thune was an assistant coach on those teams.