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Championship Saturday of the Minnesota Boys' Basketball State Tournament has been marred by racism after a member of the Minneapolis North team received a hateful message. 

Trent Witz, the director of basketball operations for Minneapolis North, posted a screenshot of the message that was allegedly sent to an unidentified North player. 

"U suck so f****** bad dude go back to ur fundamentals. Get ur monkey a** outta here [N-word]," the message reads. 

North head coach Larry McKenzie confirmed the allegation, saying the message was sent to a player Friday night via social media. 

"I wish I could say that such a comment is uncommon, but it is not; these are the types of incidents our program must regularly deal with, and are becoming all too common throughout our state," McKenzie wrote. 

"But my heart breaks for my players, who lost a teammate weeks ago, have not been able to attend school due to a teachers strike and barely had time to celebrate a hard-fought victor over Morris Area/Chokio-Albert." 

Deshaun Hill Jr., 15, was fatally shot in February. He was a beloved student-athlete –  the starting quarterback on North's varsity football team – whose life ended after being shot in the head on Feb. 9. A 29-year-old man was charged with murder, though a potential motive is unknown. 

"This is an unfortunate and unexpected distraction for our program, in preparation for the opportunity to compete for a championship Saturday against Annandale," McKenzie added, saying he hopes the individual who sent the message will be held accountable. 

Minneapolis North defeated Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 71-63 at Williams Arena Friday night. The Polars will play for the Class 2A state championship against Annandale at 1 p.m. Saturday. 

The rest of the state title games are: 

  • Class 1A: Hayfield vs. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa – 11 a.m., Williams Arena
  • Class 3A: Totino-Grace vs. DeLaSalle – 5 p.m., Williams Arena
  • Class 4A: Park Center vs. Wayzata – 8 p.m., Williams Arena

Alleged incidents of racism have been numerous at Minnesota high schools this year.

The message allegedly sent to a player Friday night comes on the heels of alleged racist taunts from fans at New Prague High School, Minnetonka's girls' basketball coach stepping down after a white student allegedly used the N-word when addressing three Black students, multiple racist notes at Prior Lake High School, and most recently, students at Edina High School seen doing the Nazi salute

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