Merrill Basketball Hall Of Fame Night is this Saturday
BY TINA L. SCOTT
This Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, is Merrill Basketball Hall Of Fame (HOF) Night. Both the Boys and Girls Merrill Basketball Teams will play that day, with the JV teams playing at Merrill High School (MHS) at 2 p.m.; the Boys JV2 team playing at Prairie River Middle School at 2 p.m., the Girls Varsity team at 3:30 p.m. at MHS; and the Boys Varsity team at 5 p.m. at MHS.
Merrill Basketball HOF inductees will be recognized at halftime of the Boys Varsity game, with four new inductees entering the HOF this year:
- Player – Melissa Yuska
- Player – Rory Osness
- Coach – Tom Andreska
- Friend of the Program / Lifetime Achievement – Kate Knott
A social will be held at Les & Jim’s Lincoln Lanes after the Boys Varsity game concludes.
“This is one of the best days of the year,” said Merrill Varsity Basketball Team Head Coach Troy Pieper. “It’s so awesome celebrating the great history of Merrill Basketball, so much history that needs to be celebrated.”
“This year is a little extra special for me,” he said. “Each person going in has had a big impact on me as a player and/or coach. Coach Andreska was my coach, and he and Coach English made me want to go into coaching and made a big impact on me through my high school years. Melissa Yuska was a year older than me, and she and I would check into her dad’s (Coach Bob Yuska) room during study hall and go to the gym and shoot every day pretty much. She was a very good friend.”
“Rory Osness was my ‘hero,’ if you will. He was the one that I looked up to when I was young and wanted to play like when I was in high school,” Pieper said. “Every youth player has that HS player they want to be like. Rory was mine, and we’ve become good friends after high school.”
“Kate still makes an impact on me each and every day, I’m lucky enough to see her every day and joke around,” he said. “She makes me smile, makes me laugh, and she will put me in my place when needed. It’s an honor to call her friend and pretty cool to call all of these inductees friends.”
“This year it’s pretty cool, too, that both the Boys and Girls Teams will play for HOF night. Moving forward that will continue to be the way we do it. It’s going to be a great day, and I can’t wait to get these awesome people officially inducted into the Merrill Basketball HOF.”
“Please come out and support all of these inductees and watch a day filled with basketball and come to the social at Les and Jim’s after the games,” Pieper said. “It will be a great day.”