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Happy birthday COACH Erstad

Happy birthday to North Dakota baseball star (and now coach) Darin Erstad.  A native of Jamestown, Erstad spent 14 years playing Major League Baseball and was a two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner.  Erstad was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1995 MLB Draft.  During his career, he helped the Los Angeles Angels to a World Series title in 2002 and two other American League playoff appearances.  He retired in 2009.

This week, Erstad was named Head Baseball Coach for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers.  He had previously been volunteering as an assistant coach with the Huskers.

In his hometown of Jamestown, visitors can see the World’s Largest Buffalo (statue) and three rare and real albino buffalo at the National Buffalo Museum.  Experience pioneering life at the Frontier Village and slide into the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame to see inductees such as Vikings football player Jim Kleinsasser, newly retired Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and homerun king Roger Maris. 

Special events include the Fort Seward Wagon Train  June 19-25, which gives visitors a flash-from-the-past covered-wagon experience.  The Tatanka Festival, July 7-10, will have wild west shootouts, parade, carnival and much more.

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Posted by on June 4, 2011 in ND in the News, Sports

 

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The Legendary Phil Jackson

The best coach in the National Basketball Association officially announced his retirement last night, and it’s time for us to say “Congratulations Phil Jackson!”  That isn’t just because his 1,155 wins and career .704 winning percentage is the best in NBA history, it’s also because North Dakota is proud of this hometown hero and hopes he has a heck-of-a-fun retirement!

Jackson was raised in Williston, North Dakota, and began his legendary basketball career there – leading the high school team to two state titles.  Jackson went on to the University of North Dakota (in Grand Forks), where he helped the team to third- and fourth-place finishes in the NCAA Division II tournaments in 1965 and 1966.

In 1967, Jackson was drafted by the New York Knicks.  He played professionally for 13 years and in 1987 began a coaching career with the Chicago Bulls that included a promotion to head coach in 1989.  Jackson coached the Bulls to 6 championships in nine seasons.

In 20 years of coaching (9 with the Chicago Bulls and 11 with the Los Angeles Lakers), Jackson notched 11 championships and numerous other accolades.  He coached some of the best in professional basketball, including Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

In 1992, Jackson was honored with a Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award.  His portrait hangs in the Rough Rider Hall of Fame, on the lower level of the Capitol building.

While we honor this great coach from Williston whose career took him across the nation, we recognize that dream starts wherever you play – including here in Bismarck with the NBA D-League Team, the Dakota Wizards.

 

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Happy 65th Birthday to Phil Jackson!

Wildly considered one of the greatest coaches in the history of the NBA, Legendary Phil Jackson turns 65 today! Before his professional career took off, Jackson grew up and attended high school in Williston, North Dakota and proceeded to play basketball at the University of North Dakota.

Now, head coach of the Lakers, Jackson earned his 11th NBA championship (as coach) when the Lakers overtook the Boston Celtics this year in the 2010 NBA championship. He will continue to coach the Lakers for the 2010-11 season which begins in late October.

Experience North Dakota’s own professional D- league team, the Dakota Wizards! They jump-start their season on November 19 against the Iowa Energy at the Bismarck Civic Center. This will be a year not to miss out!

 
 

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