Jefferson to retire Aldrich’s jersey number

Former Bloomington Jefferson all-state basketball player Cole Aldrich is coming home for a special award ceremony in February. The two-year NBA player and former University of Kansas standout will have his jersey number 45 retired during a halftime ceremony of the Jefferson/Apple Valley South Suburban Conference basketball game at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15.
Aldrich is currently a member of the Houston Rockets organization after getting traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this season.
Aldrich was a shot-blocking machine at Jefferson High and Kansas. He earned a NCAA championship ring while playing for the Jayhawks. But Aldrich’s minutes have been limited in the NBA while competing for the Thunder and Rockets. But the 6-foot-11 Aldrich should have a long and prosperous NBA career serving as a role player coming off the bench to provide defensive support.
Aldrich is joining an elite list of former Jaguar basketball players to have their jersey numbers retired by Jefferson High School.
Those Jefferson basketball hall of famers are Steve Lingenfelter, now an assistant coach at Shakopee, Mike VandeGaarde, scout for the Philadelphia 76ers, and Kevin Lynch, youth basketball camp director and basketball analyst for Fox Sports North.
Aldrich will be able to attend the Jefferson ceremony because the NBA all-star break occurs that weekend. Local basketball fans should pack the Jefferson gym to salute one of Bloomington high school basketball’s greatest players.
Lund football lefovers
Last week, the Bloomington Sun Current featured a story on Kennedy High School graduate Joe Lund who played a key role on North Dakata State University’s two NCAA Division I FCS national football championship teams of 2012 and 2013.
Lund was also named the recipient of the 2012 Rimington Award given to the nation’s top center at the FCS, Dvision II, Division III and NAIA levels.
There are a few Lund leftover story details we couldn’t fit into last week’s story.
Lund recalled his prep football career at Kennedy High with fond memories of being a three-year starter for the Eagles.
“I had a great high school experience at Kennedy,” said Lund. “Dave Frisell was our head football coach and I played with many good athletes such as Evan Aber, Hakeem Bourne-McFarlane, Mike Houts and Ross Schulz.”
Off the field, Lund majored in law enforcement at NDSU and is presently an intern at West Central Juvenile Center in Moorhead. Lund and his wife Whitney have been married for one and a half years.
“I will give pro football a try, but I will pursue a career in law enforcement if that doesn’t work out,” said Lund. “I would also like to give coaching a try.”
There is no reason why Lund can’t succeed in both law enforcement and football coaching because he thrives being the center of action.
But don’t count Lund out as a possible NFL center in the future. He has the size, speed, smarts and determination to be a force on the offensive line at that level. The 6-foot-2, 303-pound Lund has already shown he can dominate many of the best college defensive linemen in the country.
New athletic conference?
Conversations continue regarding the possibility of a new high school athletic conference involving Sun-Current and Sun-Sailor schools.
Athletic directors from Bloomington Kennedy, Bloomington Jefferson, St. Louis Park, Richfield, Cooper, Chaska, Chanhassen and Waconia are in the process of discussing the pros and cons of forming a new conference.
Chaska and Chanhassen have pushed for this new conference alignment because they want to leave the Missota Conference.
This new league might present more competitive advantages for Kennedy, Jefferson, St. Louis Park and Richfield athletic teams because those schools face enrollment disadvantages in their respective South Suburban, North Suburban and Classic Suburban conferences.