By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Tartan High School’s Tia Elbert averages about 36 points per game – not bad for a girl who took some time getting comfortable with basketball and Minnesota.

Elbert grew up in Chicago, where she started a basketball career that sputtered.

“I was born and raised in Chicago until I was 9,” Elbert said. “I started playing with boys for a summer camp, and I was not very good…I didn’t even know what the backboard was.”

She figured it out in Minnesota, and she now leads the state in scoring this season.

“My coach needs me to score,” Elbert said. “So, whatever I need to do for the team that’s what I’m doing. If we need to score, I’m heading straight to the basket.”

In the gymnasium, she feels free. Her mind focuses only on basketball.

Elbert is also a straight A student. Her mother works for the IRS, and keep up with her daughter’s numbers.

“[My mom] is always in the stands, at every single game,” Elbert said.

While Elbert didn’t initially want to live in Minnesota, she says the friends she has now – friends she made through basketball – have made living here a lot easier.

“It’s just been a blast,” she said.


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