Fair or Foul: Daniel Oturu Left Off All-Tournament Team Citing Sportsmanship Clause

RENÉE JONES SCHNEIDER • RENEE.JONES@STARTRIBUNE.COM

RENÉE JONES SCHNEIDER • RENEE.JONES@STARTRIBUNE.COM



Saturday Night’s state title game between Cretin-Derham Hall (“CDH”) and Apple Valley for Minnesota’s Class 4A crown was an instant classic. Once the ultra entertaining back-and-forth battle was all said and done, Daniel Oturu and his CDH teammates walked away with a 79-78 victory.

The astonishing contest all but ended when, with less than a second remaining, the 6”10’ Oturu completed the back-end of a perfectly executed alley-oop:

As if a state championship-winning dunk isn’t enough, the Gopher commit’s final high school field goal marked his 60, and 61st points, of the tournament (that’s 20.7 PPG). He also averaged 9 RPG and 6.3 blocks over the impressive three-game stretch. Obviously, there’s a reason Richard Pitino & Co. are so excited to see Oturu’s immense talent don the Maroon and Gold:

With all of that said, when the stud big man’s name was left off of the Class 4A All-Tournament Team, the omission turned some heads nearly snapped some necks. When it came to on the court play alone, there isn’t an ounce a milliliter of doubt that he should have been selected to that team. All tourney long, Oturu and Apple Valley’s Tre Jones were both absolutely dominant.

Naturally, the Minnesota State High School League (“MSHSL“) was peppered with inquiries surrounding this decision. In response, the MSHSL’s Tim Leighton provided this information:

Although Leighton doesn’t directly refer to any particular play, in my eyes, that’s irrelevant. If you can add two plus two, you can find that this is the root cause of the “sportsmanship” issue:

First and foremost, considering the PC world in which we live, I understand why the MSHSL made this decision. By leaving Oturu off of the all-tournament squad, the organization avoided the dreaded backlash. Regardless of my understanding, this isn’t the direction I would have gone. The way I see it, his heat-of-the-moment action was probably a mistake. However, the perceived blunder was far lightyears away from egregious.

There’s a reason an individual needs two technicals to be ejected. Basketball player’s getting T’d up always has, and always will be, part of the sport. Personally, I love Daniel Oturu’s passion. When you’re an athlete of his prowess, having the right amount of piss and vinegar flowing through the veins can be a blessing. When considering the future Gopher’s big man, his intensity meter seems to be at absolutely ideal levels.

Whatever, though. It’s the championship that counts, right? Per Oturu’s below Tweet, that appears to be his mindset:

Johnny Minnesota @TheJohnnyMN
Minnesota Sports Fan MinnesotaSportsFan.com