The Kasson-Mantorville and St. Peter communities will get a chance to honor Braxton Raymond one more time with an alumni game on Saturday.
Raymond passed away at the age of 22 from complications of brain cancer on Oct. 9, 2019. The 6-foot-5 guard was a standout basketball player who was on the St. Peter varsity as a freshman and then played three years of varsity ball at Kasson-Mantorville when his father, Kelly, became coach of the KoMets. Braxton went on to become K-M's all-time leading scoring.
On Saturday a Braxton Raymond memorial basketball game game will be played.
"It's to raise money for scholarships for Kasson and St. Peter, the two schools he played for, and also for the American Brain Tumor Association as well as the Shriners," Kelly Raymond said.
The game will feature the Kasson-Mantorville alumni vs. the St. Peter alumni at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Kasson-Mantorville Middle School. There is no fee to attend the event but there will be a donation for a pasta meal beginning at 5 p.m. with the game to follow. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction.
"He was very involved and he wanted to pass on to that, and to Shriners, and more research for brain tumors and to the schools he attended,"Kelly Raymond said. "He loved basketball and we're kind of putting the two things together that he loved, basketball and pasta."
Last year there was a benefit game to help pay for Raymond's medical expenses. This years the proceeds will go to the Braxton's Memorial Fund Scholarship for Kasson-Mantorville and St. Peter students, the Shriners and American Brain Tumor Association.
Kelly Raymond, who still works at the Kasson-Mantorville School District, hopes this can become an annual event.
"We want to," he said, "and we know it's going to be tough. We thinking of some other things too to also raise money. Because we don't want to impact the community over and over again. So we'll see how this year goes and then kind of play it my ear."
Kelly Raymond also runs basketball camps so doing another one of those as a fundraiser is also a possibility.
"I always think the best way to raise money is if you're providing a service," Kelly Raymond said. "Like on Saturday, people are going to come and get a meal and they've got a chance to win some raffle prizes, some cool silent auction things and then get a chance to watch a little basketball."
MAYO PLAYING IN HALL OF FAME WINTER CLASSIC
The Mayo boys basketball team will be one of six teams playing in the Minnesota High School Basketball Hall of Fame Winter Classic on Saturday at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids.
The event will begin at 11 a.m. with three girls games and then follow with three boys games beginning at 4:15 p.m. Mayo will face East Ridge in the final game at 7:45 p.m.
East Ridge is ranked No. 8 in the state in Class AA and features Ben Carlson, who will play his college ball at Wisconsin. Mayo also has a pair of players bound for Division I in twins, and senior guards, Gabe and Mason Madsen.
East Ridge is one of four ranked teams in Class AAAA in the boys field. In another game, No. 1 Eden Prairie will face No. 2 Park Center at 4:15 p.m. and No. 7 Hopkins will play Hibbing at 6 p.m.
Carlson and the Madsen twins are all among the top-10 ranked seniors in the state this season as are Dain Dainja (who will play at Baylor) of Park Center and Hopkins' Kerwin Walton.
CALEDONIA NO. 6?
The Caledonia boys basketball team is 14-0 and battled tested, but has not received a lot of respect from the state's QRF rankings so far this season.
Among Class AA state powers, the Warriors have beaten both Lake City and Waseca when they were ranked No. 1 in the state and also have an overtime win over No. 4 Minneapolis North.
Caledonia is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class AA in the Preps Hoops poll, but is only the No. 6 rated team among the QRF rankings. Section 1AA teams Stewartville (No. 4, 11-2) and Lake City (No. 5, 12-1) are both rated ahead of Caledonia as is Minneapolis North (No. 2, 8-5). Waseca (10-3) is ranked right behind Caledonia at No. 5. St. Croix Prep (11-0), which played in the Rochester Rotary Classic in December, is ranked No. 1 in the state in QRF.