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The following is an excerpt from an article in LDSLiving. To read the full article, click here.
Historically, Mormons are a basketball-loving people—we even connect courts to our chapels. It should come as no surprise, then, that a select few Latter-day Saints have graduated from the madness of church ball and made NCAA history. So in honor of the upcoming tournament, let’s take a look back at some of March’s most magnificent Mormon moments.
Any list of Mormons in March Madness has to start with the great Arnie Ferrin, who starred for the University of Utah in the 1940s. Utah won the whole tournament in 1944, back when it consisted of just eight teams. In New York’s Madison Square Garden, the Utes captured their first and only title in dramatic fashion, edging out Dartmouth 42-40. Ferrin was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and went on to play professionally with the Minneapolis Lakers. Later in his life, he served as a mission president in Michigan and was the University of Utah’s athletic director.
One of the best pure scorers in college basketball history, Jimmer was so good that his name became a verb. His junior year, he “Jimmered” the University of Florida in the first round of the tournament, scoring 37 points in BYU’s double overtime victory. The next year, he scored a combined 66 points in big wins over Wofford and Gonzaga, leading the Cougars to their first Sweet Sixteen since 1981. Though Florida got their revenge in overtime, Jimmer’s outstanding senior season (in which he won National Player of the Year) prompted President Obama to call him “unbelievable” and the “best scorer . . . in the country.”
To read the full article, click here.