The Minnesota Transitions High School basketball team has a new home. Or, rather, it has new homes.
On the same day the Metrodome roof caved in last December, the school’s heater broke, forcing a leak and making their floor unplayable.
The charter school’s team has been on the road most of the season because of it.
“Oh, it’s been definitely a season to remember. Playing every game as an away game makes for a very long year,” said Transitions athletic director Justin Birchem. “We’ve been practicing everywhere from Dunwoody to Minneapolis parks.”
Though the team has been homeless, it’s been anchored by a family connection. Last year, Kevin Noreen was one of the team’s central players. This year, it’s his brother Kyle Noreen, who is averaging 28 points a game.
“I’m getting double teamed a lot more than last year,” he said. “I just have to find ways to score more than I did last year.”
The reason for this is because last year, his older brother Kevin Noreen — Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball — took on some of that burden.
“I see a kid that’s finally coming out of the shadow of his older brother. He’s really stepped up this year,” said father and assistant coach Jerry Noreen. “The team has finally gotten together and realized it’s not going to be the same as it’s been the last five, six years here.”
The younger brother shares the same discipline for basketball as he does for his schoolwork. He takes the majority of his courses online. With no classmates, his computer is his instructor.
“Whenever you can do it, you can do it,” Kyle Noreen said. “Whether it’s at 8 o’clock in the morning or 8 o’clock at night, it doesn’t matter.”
With his grades complementing his game, he’s truly in the elite. And one pictures him one day playing alongside his big brother once again.
“That’d be nice,” Kyle Noreen said.