Scott Morgan added a national honor to his list of accomplishments on Tuesday.
The former Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball player was selected for induction into the 2020 NAIA Hall of Fame for men’s basketball. He joins Gordie Fosness as the only two DWU men’s basketball members to be honored with the NAIA Hall of Fame induction. Morgan’s sister, Randi (Morgan) Haines, was inducted into the hall of fame in 2015.
Scott Morgan will now be in four hall of fames. He’s also in the DWU, South Dakota High School Basketball and Mitchell High School Athletic hall of fames.
“It’s an honor anytime you get inducted,” Morgan said. “It’s just a different level. It’s probably the highest one you can get as a college athlete. So it’s exciting.”
DWU athletic director Jon Hart informed Morgan earlier this year he was nominated, but he never thought such an honor would happen. He noted how DWU never made a national tournament during his Tiger tenure for why he was reluctant about it.
“I was,” said Morgan when asked if he was surprised. “I never thought that it would even happen.”
But Morgan established a career worthy of the national honor. He was a two-time NAIA national player of the year in 1992 and 1993. He’s second in program history with 2,810 career points, behind only Alan Miller (2,920). Morgan’s point total still stands as the fourth most in South Dakota collegiate men’s basketball history.
He helped the Tigers to a pair of conference championships in the 1989-90 and 1991-92 seasons, guiding his teams to a 74-44 record over his four-year career. Morgan’s No. 50 (also shared with Miller) hangs in the Corn Palace rafters.
But he remembers the teammates, coaches and road trips more than any numbers or accolades.
“You wouldn’t have this without your teammates,” Morgan said. “I made some pretty good friends and we had a good time.”
He was another family member in a long line of Morgans that suited up for the Tigers. In addition to Scott and Randi, siblings Wes, Ronda, Robin and Raven all played basketball at DWU. They combined to score more than 10,000 points for the blue and white after honing their basketball skills on the family farm.
“It was big,” Scott Morgan said about basketball in the family. “When you grow up on a farm there ain’t a whole lot to do. We didn’t have phones and computers. We had three channels on the TV.”
Morgan was must-see TV for both Mitchell High School and DWU. The 6-foot-7 Morgan was a first-team all-stater in 1988 and 1989 for the Kernels, scoring 1,151 career points. But the college recruiting scene was different than it is now, with Morgan doing no AAU tournaments and mostly just team camps.
“That was on the back burner,” Morgan said. “The focus was playing high school basketball.”
He went on visits to the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Northern State University before opting to stay close to home and play for the Tigers.
“It was a good fit,” Morgan said. “My brother was going there. So it was a chance to play a couple years with Wes.”
It was also a chance to continue playing at the Corn Palace, which he still frequents as a supporter of both Kernel and Tiger athletics.
“We packed it all the time,” he said about the hallowed venue. “The atmosphere was unbelievable and that’s probably what makes the games fun. When you have all the people there and the fans and just the atmosphere.”
Morgan, 49, and his wife Stacy live in Mitchell and they have three children: Cole, Connor and Payton. Scott is the owner of Blarney's Sportsbar & Grill.
The NAIA Hall of Fame induction ceremony is at the 2021 NAIA men’s basketball national tournament in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 18-23, 2021.