MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Mitch Ohnstad loves basketball. He trains players in the sport, and his wife coaches a high school team.
And he still plays the game at a very high level, 17 years since he was named Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball while at Faribault High School.
“Growing up in Faribault and not far from the Twin Cities, I was able to follow the University of Minnesota, and grew up with the dream of playing there. And had a lot of opportunities playing in Faribault, being able to play as a young player coming up in eighth grade, being able to play varsity. And it gave me the opportunity to become a player that I wanted to be,” Ohnstad said.
He started college in California and ended at the U of M. He was then, and still, is a basketball junkie. He trains basketball players for a living, and he plays ball in the Howard Pulley summer league.
“It’s a family affair for us. My wife, she coaches high school basketball, Lakeville South High School. And two daughters, yeah, we’re in the gym quite a bit as a family. And obviously that’s what I do as a job, training,” he said.
That’s right – he plays with the young kids at a time when he could consider the 35 and over league. And he will probably be the oldest to play in the Pulley league this summer.
“It makes me feel a little older when I’m out on the court, but it keeps me young, too. I mean, it’s fun to go out there and just be able to stay in shape and compete, you know, with guys that are still playing at a high level,” he said.
And its clear from one look at Ohnstad that he’s hardly aged since he was in the Gopher back court.
“It’s fun, but we also like to compete and try to stay playing as best we can,” Ohnstad said.
He is one basketball junkie who will keep on keeping on, for the love of the game.