June 20, 2019

Park to be inducted into SDHSBB Hall of Fame - Daily Leader Extra : Sports

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Park to be inducted into SDHSBB Hall of Fame

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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 3:13 pm

Henry Park, Jr. led the Chester Maroons to their only State B Tournament appearance in 1945. Behind the play of Park, Chester was the consolation champion as the Maroons finished with an impressive 25-3 overall record.

On Saturday, Park will be one of 15 inductees into the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies will take place at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls starting at 1 p.m.

In 1945, Chester beat Colman 56-20, Flandreau 47-10 and Dell Rapids 39-33 to win the District Tournament. In the Regional Tournament, the Maroons topped Oldham 59-35 and Thomas 43-33.

Other teams in the 1945 State B Tournament were Webster, Mt. Vernon, Platte, Miller, Madison, Leola and Hot Springs.

Webster handed Chester a 52-41 setback in the first round of the State Tournament. Park and Chester bounced back nicely to defeat Mt. Vernon 61-41 and Miller 43-26 for fifth place.

In the win over Mt. Vernon, Park tossed in 31 points. That was a state record lasting over 10 years. Park ended the tournament with a record of 59 points in three games.

"The coach pulled me out of the last game for the last three minutes to get everyone in the game," Park said. "I would have more points if he would have left me in."

Chester fell to St. Thomas (Madison) during the regular season and to Webster in the State Tournament. Webster played Madison for the championship.

Park also played kittenball and track, but his favorite sport was basketball.

"I had a basket in the tree and developed a shot while playing around," Park said. "I practiced a lot."

After graduation, Park enlisted in the U.S. Army and went to Ascom City Army Base in Korea. While there, he found time to get on a basketball court with the Army's 143 Chemical Unit team. First Lieutenant Clarence Frier was the coach for the team. Frier, who had ties with Ohio State University, noticed Park's skills and offered him a chance to join the OSU basketball team on a full-ride scholarship.

Park declined the offer.

"I loved Mother Nature, hunting, fishing, trapping and farming," he said. "I came back to South Dakota to raise my family on the farm. I have not had any regrets."

Park played against LeRoy "Lefty" Engebritson, another inductee, in the first game of the State Tournament. "He was a really good player," Park said.

Park, who will be 92 in April, continues to watch both boys and girls basketball games.

"I still like to shoot free throws with anyone," he said.

Other inductees on Saturday will include: Jodi (Pipes) Altenburg, Harrisburg (Armour, 1988); Scott Beckstrand, Sioux Falls (Lincoln, 1989); Mike Begeman, Sioux Falls (Parker, 1975); LeRoy "Lefty" Engebritson (Webster 1946); Dave Fischer, Hartford (Wall 1961); Rolland Furois (Deadwood 1940); Shannon (Schlagel) Huber, Clark (Clark 2001); Freddie Knife (Cheyenne Agency 1959); Megan Mahoney, Black Hawk (Sturgis 2001); Alan Nissen, Lincoln, Neb. (Miller 1968); Doug Peterson, Rapid City (Watertown 1960); Cregg Skarin, Redfield (Hitchcock 1970); Lindsay Thomas, Pasadena, Calif. (SF Roosevelt 2002); and Russell Walseth (Pierre 1944).

The 1959 Watertown Arrows will be recognized as the Team of Excellence.

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