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Jim Mitchell



The national deaf basketball player of the year as a senior in 1954, the 6-foot-1 Mitchell averaged 27.2 points a game for the South Dakota School for the Deaf that season, including a 52-point effort against Worthing.

The 27.2 was a national deaf record. In the 52-point game, he was 17 of 24 from the field and 18 of 19 on free throws. Mitchell, from Sioux Falls, never scored fewer than 18 points in a game that season. He was named U.S. deaf basketball player of the year by “Silent Worker’’ and “The Frat’’ publications. "Guarded closely by every foe, Jimmy used amazing agility, often driving through for close-in jump shots,' said the story in the Silent Worker. "To clear jams under the hoop he pushed in longies."

Mitchell, nicknamed “Dead Shot,’’ averaged 25.7 points as a junior. He scored 1,109 points in his final three seasons at SDSD. He also was a valuable contributor for the Pheasants as a freshman. He is a member of the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

He also was a standout in football and track. In football, he helped SDSD go 6-1 and win the Little Sioux Conference title (5-0) in 1953. A talented receiver, he scored nine touchdowns that season. In track, he competed in the 440, 880, high jump, mile relay and sprint medley as the Pheasants won the conference meet four years running.

After high school, he excelled in basketball, softball, volleyball and bowling. He was an all-star seven times in basketball and three times in softball while competing for the Sioux Falls Deaf Club at the Midwest Athletic Association of the Deaf tournament. He was named MVP in basketball (1955) and volleyball (1980). He was inducted into the MAAD Hall of Fame in 1970. In bowling, his top season average was 194, while he had career bests of 290 (game) and 708 (series). He also teamed with Earl Peterson to win the doubles title at the WNAX 5-State tournament.

 


































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