BEST HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE - 2000
Jake Sullivan couldn't have scripted a better ending to his spectacular career with Tartan High School boys basketball team. It was late March, and Tartan was taking on Maple Grove in front of 8,000 screaming fans at Williams Arena, with the state 4A championship on the line. Sullivan, a star since the seventh grade when he scored 70 points in a single game, had led Tartan to the state tourney the two previous seasons, but both times his team came up short in the quarterfinals. Against Maple Grove the undersize point guard played erratically in the first half. But as is his habit, Sullivan soon got hot. His ten points in the final quarter sealed a 62-51 victory, giving Tartan its first state title in any sport. Sullivan's game-high 28 points, meanwhile, pushed him over the 3,000-career-points mark, making him the second-highest scorer in the history of Minnesota boys' basketball. A relentless gym rat, Sullivan was practicing as many as 1,000 free throws a day by the time he was in fifth grade. The hard work paid off; his 89.9 career free-throw percentage is now recognized as a national record. As one of the most highly recruited players in the state following his junior season, Sullivan accepted a scholarship to Iowa State last fall. Good for him. Too bad for the Gophers.