Tonight you may have seen some clips of Blake Hoffarber on ESPN’s SportsCenter. Blake is the guy that hit the insane shot while lying on his back to force double OT in the Minnesota state high school championship three years ago. He was a sophomore at Hopkins High School at the time and won an ESPY for play of the year. I was fortunate enough to be in town for that state championship game and witnessed the shot first hand. I even got a chance to congratulate Blake and Coach Novak, his uncle, after the game.
Now he is a freshman at the University of Minnesota. Both of these schools are my alma maters. I was a sophomore at Hopkins back in 1993 when Blake was only five years old and one of our ball boys. I remember watching him run around and help get rebounds during warm-ups. I don’t recall for sure when he started to hit three pointers, but and I can remember watching him heave the ball from behind the three point line. He could barely make it to the rim, but he would put his whole body into it.
Now Blake leads the Big Ten in three-point field goal percentage and has a shot at setting a Gopher’s record for most threes in a season. In tonight’s nationally televised game against #9 ranked Indiana he went 2-3 behind the arc including a 4-point play to make his percentage for the season an even 50%.
Blake is a great kid that has put in a lot of hard work. It is nice to see him get rewarded for it. Blake won the 2007 Mr. Basketball award in Minnesota, and he helped Hopkins win two state championships. There were even points in the season last year where Hopkins was ranked in the top 5 teams in the nation according to MaxPreps.com. I see that Hopkins is currently ranked #1 in the state again.