Hopkins girls' basketball team put in the spotlight by ESPN's Scott Van Pelt

The undefeated Royals got the bulk of ESPN's "Senior Night" segment.
Publish date:

With all sports put on hold by the national health emergency, ESPN's Scott Van Pelt has been spending more time recognizing the high school and college seniors whose seasons were stopped in their tracks with nary a moment's notice. 

During the "Senior Night" segment Monday, Van Pelt spoke glowingly of the seven seniors from Hopkins High School in Minnesota who were 24 hours from playing Farmington in the Class 4A girls' basketball state championship game when all high school sports were halted. 

"The Hopkins royals girls' basketball team had back-to-back undefeated seasons. They were one game away from another state title. They had 7 seniors, and I love this picture," said Van Pelt, referring to the seven seniors standing together. 

"Couldn't stop looking at it cuz it feels like who we are as a country: black, white, tall, short – some probably really good, some maybe average – we're the sum of our parts, all of us. And it helps if you've got something you can rely upon that's great and Hopkins has it. 

"The young lady in the middle is Paige Bueckers. She's the No. 1 payer in the country. She's a UConn commit and she can go. 

"I asked [UConn coach] Geno Auriemma what he liked best about her game and he said 'Her willingness to give herself up to make her teammates better. She can do whatever she wants, but chooses to do for others.'

"The country will be watching her play next fall," Van Pelt concluded. 

Related: High school seniors gutted by sudden end of MSHSL tournaments

The ESPN segment featuring Hopkins might not have been seen by American had photographer Bri Lewerke, who snapped the photo of the seven seniors, alerted SportsCenter to their situation. Here's Lewerke's tweet that got ESPN's attention

Next Up

Byron Buxton

Alex Colomé wastes Buxton's diving catch, clutch bomb

The Twins' bullpen woes continued in a loss to the A's.

Northern Metals

Firefighters battling large blaze at Northern Metal site in Minneapolis

The fire sent a plume of thick smoke into the skyline.

Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 12.10.00 PM

Charges: St. Cloud woman maced, fatally stabbed man in alley

A 36-year-old man was pronounced dead at St. Cloud Hospital 32 minutes after the 911 call was made.


Gasthof's building in Northeast Minneapolis is for sale

The restaurant opened in 1992 and has been closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


1 dead in single-vehicle crash in Kandiyohi County

Deaths on Minnesota roads are up approximately 20% from the same point last year.

Irwin Jacobs home

Neighbor sues to block estate from dividing billionaire's Lake Minnetonka property

The estate of Irwin Jacobs wants to build six new homes on the late businessman's property.


In the better burger battle, does Culver's trump In-N-Out?

A website says Culver's is far superior to In-N-Out.

George Floyd mural

Darnella Frazier, who filmed the video of Floyd's arrest, reacts to guilty verdict

Frazier's video challenged the initial narrative of Floyd's arrest presented by the Minneapolis Police Department.

Burnsville police shooting

Man fatally shot by police near I-35W in Burnsville is identified

The suspect killed in the incident is from western Wisconsin.


Paige Bueckers

Girls' title game between Hopkins, Wayzata draws 4 Wolves players

The nation's top recruit, Paige Bueckers, didn't disappoint.

Paige Bueckers

Hopkins' Bueckers named national player of the year finalist

Hopkins is undefeated and back in the state tournament.

Paige Bueckers

Hopkins phenom Paige Bueckers picks UConn

Bueckers is the No. 1 recruit in the country.

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers named USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year

There isn't a more decorated high school basketball player in Minnesota.

KAT and Paige Bueckers

Watch: KAT surprises national player of the year Paige Bueckers

Bueckers won the Gatorade award over nearly a million other high school players.

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers lands on the cover of 'SLAM' magazine

The No. 1 recruit in the country is getting a ton of national attention.

Tre Jones

ESPN list of top-25 college players includes 4 Minnesotans

The four Minnesotans are all rated in the top 16 of the list.

Hopkins standout Zeke Nnaji commits to Arizona

The Gophers were not in his final five.