DSU men’s basketball receives $34,000 donation
The Dakota State men’s basketball program recently received a donation of $34,000 from Seizing South Dakota to be used for additional recruitment funds.
Seizing South Dakota was created in the interest of bringing South Dakota athletes to Dakota State to continue their athletic careers in the men’s basketball program, according to Doug Sims, one of the founding members.
“People like seeing South Dakota kids play,” Sims said. The idea for additional recruitment funding started with Tim Schuring, former men’s basketball coach, and his interest in bringing one area player to Dakota State.
“They really wanted to go after a specific player and that player was Joe Backus,” Sims said. Backus was from Chester, S.D. and still holds several records at Dakota State – scoring 1,564 points, 680 rebounds, and 62 blocks from 2004-2008.
Sims, Tom Burg, and Tim Begeman worked together to form the group, which raised money through members committing funds, holding raffles, and running youth basketball tournaments with local partners. During the group’s years of activity, they raised over $132,000 for the men’s basketball team.
The grassroots program started while Schuring was head basketball coach (2001-05) and continued through Wade Kooiman’s time as coach (2005-09) to present coach Gary Garner.
Garner expanded the program’s quest to include regional athletes who may come from neighboring states like Minnesota.
This funding has helped the program by enhancing and supplementing scholarship dollars already given through the program, not replacing it, Sims explained.
Sims shared that the coaches work hard to bring students to the program, and there are often other factors besides basketball, such as campus location, programs of study, and facilities.
As the Trojan Athletic Club has continued to grow and successfully raise funds for all athletic programs, Seizing South Dakota has stepped back from the fundraising game. In doing so they have donated the remaining funds in their account to the men’s basketball team.
Coach Garner appreciates the support the men’s basketball team has received from Seizing South Dakota. “They raised a lot of money over those years for scholarships for the basketball team,” he said.
With this final donation made to the men’s basketball fundraising account at the Dakota State University Foundation, Garner shared that it will be great to have these funds going into this next year.
“We will use that for the next two or three years to give more scholarships for the basketball program.”