Sports and Real Talk with Coach McKenzie

Insight News (June 18, 2018)

Not sure where to start so I guess I’ll start by saying thank you to Mr. Al McFarlane for the opportunity and challenge to share my personal perspective through print media.

I’m always telling my kids to get outside of their comfort zones and sometimes you gotta practice what you preach. So I’m excited to share with you on a regular basis my thoughts through Insight News; and no it’s not a sport column. READ MORE…


Larry McKenzie Named as Recipient of 2018 Bush Fellowship

We’re pleased to introduce the recipients of the 2018 Bush Fellowship, a group of 24 determined, adaptable leaders who are driven to improve their communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography.

Bush Fellows receive up to $100,000 to pursue the education and experiences they need to become more effective, agile leaders.

“The 2018 Bush Fellows are exceptional leaders who have made the most of the opportunities in their lives,” says Bush Foundation Leadership Programs Director Anita Patel. “We believe the well-being of our region is directly impacted by investing in individuals who will shape the future. We are betting on the potential of these 24 Fellows to make a significant impact in their communities.”

The Fellowship is distinctive in its flexibility, allowing Fellows to create leadership development plans tailored to their needs and ambitions. Fellows can use the funding to pursue advanced education, networking opportunities, and leadership resources, workshops and trainings.   Read More


Homecoming: Hoops star Khalid El-Amin returns to North High as assistant coach

Insight News (November 9, 2017)

A hero is coming home.

Former North High star Khalid El-Amin is returning to the gym that made him a legend, as he has been announced as an assistant coach of the Polars’ boys varsity basketball team – a team that has won back-to-back state championships. According to Polars Head Coach Larry McKenzie, the decision to bring El-Amin on had been made some time ago, but the two kept it under wraps until this past Wednesday (Nov. 8). READ MORE…


Minneapolis North flips their script with second straight Class A basketball title

Fox 9 (March 9, 2017)

Minneapolis North cruised to their second straight boys class A-state title over the weekend, winning by 47 points.

But despite recent success, the team still plays like they have something to prove.

“They played like that all year.. they were on a mission,” said Head Coach Larry McKenzie.

Many of the 2017 Polars have been playing together since they were kids. But, whether or not they would ever play together at North High was in doubt when just five years ago the school nearly closed because of falling enrollment.

READ MORE…


Hoops dreams realized for two area stars

Insight News (November 15, 2016)

A couple of area hoop stars signed their letters of intent to play Division I basketball next season.

Park Center’s Mikayla Hayes and North Community High’s Isaac Johnson signed letters of intent on Nov. 9, the first day high school students can sign. Hayes, a two-time state champion, two time state all-tournament team selection and a tournament final game MVP signed to play for and attend the University of Florida on a full scholarship. At 6’2”, Hayes will play forward for Gators, who have a top 25 program. READ MORE…


Samaritan’s Feet and Movement Mortgage

Media Release (November 10, 2016)

Samaritan’s Feet and Movement Mortgage Distribute Over 350 Pairs of Shoes to Children in Minneapolis as Part of Nationwide Campaign

Samaritan’s Feet International, with the support of Movement Mortgage, is hosting a shoe distribution event on Saturday, November 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will take place at the Minneapolis North High School. Approximately 350 pre-registered children will receive a new pair of shoes and socks, have their feet washed by Movement mortgage employees, community volunteers, and student athletes from Minneapolis North High School READ MORE…


Beyond X’s and O’s: Prep basketball’s Larry McKenzie spreads his creed, players become believers

University of St. Thomas (November, 2016)

Anyone who has played for Larry McKenzie has heard “the creed.”

Former Minneapolis North two-sport star Tyler Johnson heard it before he was a Division I athlete at the University of Minnesota. Former Minneapolis Patrick Henry player Johnnie Gilbert heard it before he was playing basketball for the Oklahoma Sooners. Nick Anderson, a former student manager for McKenzie at Academy of Holy Angels whose abilities were doubted by many due to his cerebral palsy, has heard it and not forgotten it.

“It is something that I still live by today,” said Anderson, now a college student. “That is one thing that really sticks out about coach McKenzie is that when you are done with his program, the things he says before or after practice, during games, things that are life lessons, not just X’s and O’s, they stick with you.” READ MORE…


Keeping Your Heart in the Game

St. Thomas (October 18, 2016)

With just seconds remaining in the 2014 Class 1A Section 4 championship boys basketball game, Minneapolis North High School junior Jamil Jackson drove the length of the court and put up the tying layup against Maranatha Christian Academy. Except the ball didn’t go in. It rolled off the front edge, setting off polar opposite reactions: Maranatha celebrated a trip to the state tournament and North players wept over such a heartbreaking defeat.

In 2015 a rematch of those same teams ended in a tie after regulation, and in overtime North again found itself down 2 points in the final seconds. And again, a shot clanked off the rim to seal another loss. READ MORE…


Minneapolis North High Is on a Major Rebound

WCCO (August 31, 2016)

It is the first week back to school in Minneapolis, and there is a buzz about North High School that’s all good. The school had just 62 students enrolled five years ago, and there was talk of shutting it down — but the community fought back. More than 400 students are enrolled at North High this year. A mix of academics and athletics is making the school an attractive option. READ MORE and WATCH…


Tevlin: Group seeks to reunite Jews with their north Minneapolis history

Star Tribune (July 26, 2016)

The colors for Minneapolis North High School are blue and white, same as the Israeli flag. This is not a coincidence, says Jane Barrash, who has taught the school’s state championship basketball team meditation, relaxation techniques and positive thinking for three years.

The Polars basketball team also plays in Jacobi gym. It doesn’t get much more Jewish than that, said Barrash, who has launched an effort to reconnect Jewish people who grew up on the North Side with their old neighborhood in an effort to build awareness of and support for North High, and north Minneapolis more generally.READ MORE…