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11/30/2014 - From The Press Box: Who Would Be On Your All-Nebraska Dream Team?

 This will be a never ending debate, but who would be on your All-Nebraska boys basketball dream team?

Tough one to put together, right?  It's not easy, to say the least.

But let's throw out some names to start.

If you go back to the last 60 years of high school basketball in this state, you find names that became big names at Nebraska, Creighton, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan, Idaho, Arizona State, Pacific, Marquette and Iowa State, just to name a few.

Based on what I've researched, through my experience of playing at the high school level and covered as a broadcast journalist, I've come down to at least 14 names that would make the All-Nebraska boys basketball roster.

Here they are, in no particular order.

Bob Boozer, Omaha Tech
Bob Gibson, Omaha Tech
Fred Hare, Omaha Tech
Dave Hoppen, Omaha Benson
Ron Kellogg, Omaha Northwest
Erick Strickland, Bellevue West
Andre Woolridge, Omaha Benson
Mike McGee, Omaha North
Alex Stivrins, Lincoln East
Alton Mason, Lincoln Northeast
Jan Wall, Lincoln Northeast
Kerry Trotter, Omaha Creighton Prep
Chuck Jura, Schuyler
Tom Kropp, Aurora

That would be on my short list.  Like I said, it's a never ending debate.  All of these players that span from the 1950s to the 2000s are among the best ever to play at the high school level in Nebraska.

Most are from Omaha, but it's understandable.  Many great players have come from the Metro.  Eikmeier, Jura and Kropp are the local heroes that many longtime followers of basketball in Nebraska like to bring up during these types of conversations.  

How about the trio from Lincoln?  

Stivrins spent 11 years playing professionally from the NBA to Europe, after a college career that included stops at Creighton and Colorado.  Mason started at Marquette before making the switch to Barton County CC in Kansas and landing at Arizona State.  He eventually played professionally over in Europe.  Wall, who is my uncle on my mother's side, was the state's Athlete of the Year in 1958 and ranks among the all time basketball and baseball greats in Northeast history.  My Uncle Jan played college basketball and baseball at Nebraska and spent a few years in the New York Mets farm organization.

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Some of you who know me are wondering why I didn't list my brother, Jimmy Motz, or Jake Muhleisen on that short list.

Both had great college careers at Creighton and Nebraska respectively, but the list above are players that played basketball or another sport at the professional level.

Jimmy had a great high school career at Northeast, earning all-city, all-state recognition and ranks third in career scoring, right behind Mason and all-time leader Mike Hahn, the latter of two were my teammates. At Creighton, Jimmy became a role player and was a three-point sharpshooter for the Bluejays.  He won conference title rings and made trips to the NCAA Tournament.

Jake, on the other hand, was 6-4 guard from Southeast that received all-city and all-state recognition with Jimmy.  Both were the best of friends from opposite sides of the court growing up and all the way through college.   They teamed together for the Bison-Nebraska Summer All-Star teams.

Who else can be added?  Let's put another team together.

How about this for a group?

Rich King, Omaha Burke
Kent Reckewey, Lincoln East
Curt Hedberg, Lincoln East
Mark Grabau, Lincoln East
Bill Jackman, Grant
Alvin Mitchell, Omaha Burke
Jimmy Motz, Lincoln Northeast
Jake Muhleisen, Lincoln Southeast
Daryl Stovall, Bellevue West
Dean Thompson, Omaha Westside
Bart Kofoed, Omaha Westside
Ron Boone, Omaha Tech
Derek Sailors, Lincoln East
Nick Bahe, Lincoln Southeast
Zach Fortune, Bellevue West
Joe Vogel, North Platte
Nate Blessen, Columbus
Tom Novak, Lincoln Northeast
Terry Novak, Lincoln Northeast
Maury Damkroger, Lincoln Northeast
Jerry Motz, Lincoln Northeast
Dana Janssen, Lincoln Northeast
Dwaine Dillard, Omaha Central
Wally Anderzunas, Omaha Creighton Prep
Jim Gregory, Omaha Burke
Gene Harmon, Schuyler
Jason Glock, Wahoo
Josh Jones, Omaha Central
Akoy Agau, Omaha Central
John C. Johnson, Omaha Central
Chet Paul, Lincoln High
John Matzke, Lincoln High
Andrew Drevo, Lincoln Christian
Tom Cockle, Lincoln Christian
Jon Beerbohm, Fairbury
Bob Siegel, Fairbury
Justin Haynes, Sterling
Larry Rathe, Sterling
Cal Christline, Sterling

No particular order or "depth chart."  Just a list of players that could easily be considered among the best of all time.

Bill Holliday of Wilsonville could be on that list, too.  He's the all-time career scoring leader in Nebraska high school basketball history.   

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