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Jim Sutton



1953 Onida HS grad. 1957 South Dakota State grad. One of the state's finest shooters, Sutton led Onida to the 1953 state Class B championship. Sutton was recruited by several Division I schools (including Kansas State, a national power at that time), but went to South Dakota State instead. At that time, freshmen could not play on the varsity, but he started as a sophomore. A co-captain his junior and senior years, the 6-foot, 170-pound Sutton was the second player in SDSU history to score 1,000 career points. He was selected all-conference in 1956 and 1957 as State won North Central Conference championships. Sutton was the first South Dakota State player drafted by the NBA, going to the Minneapolis Lakers in the ninth round. In college, Sutton gained recognition for his long jump shots, and he led the conference in field-goal percentage in 1956 and '57. As a free-throw shooter, he may be the best the state has ever produced. In 1957, he shot 92 percent on free throws (127 of 138, including 32 in a row), a national record at the time. He still holds SDSU records for free-throw percentage for a game (100, 12-for-12), season (92) and career (86.3). Sutton played basketball competitively until age 44, helping Onida win the state amateur championship twice. Sutton, a longtime PRCA stock contractor, was honored at the Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo as the recipient of the 2000 Hall of Fame Award. In high school, he earned four letters in basketball and track and three in football. He qualified for the state track meet in the 880, discus and pole vault as a junior and senior, placing high in the 880 and winning the pole vault.












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