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Kay Besanson



The 1954 Delmont High grad was one of Yankton College's all-time greats in basketball and track. Besanson ran the 220-yard dash in 20.9 seconds in 1956, breaking the school record set by the legendary Joe Mendel. That time was the fourth fastest in the nation in 1956 and it remained a Yankton College record until the school closed its doors in 1984. He also ran a 9.7 100. He had been recruited to play basketball at YC but after winning a bet by defeating a member of the track team in the 220, Besanson was invited by coach Carl Youngworth to join the track team as well.

In basketball, the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder was the Greyhounds' leading scorer and rebounder all four years. He ended his career as the leading rebounder and No. 2 scorer in YC history. Besanson was a two-time all-South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference selection. He had a career high of 35 points against Huron as a sophomore. He played in the longest game in state history, a seven-overtime loss at Black Hills State (80-79) in 1956. His coach, Bob Putnam, said: "Because of his rebounding ability, Kay gets most of his points on rebounds or from the free-throw line on fouls committed on him for doing his specialty. He is definitely one of the SDIC's most effective pivot men."

Although Besanson didn't play football in college, he played football in the service at Fort Carson, Colo., and was good enough to be invited to the St. Louis Cardinals training camp as a tight end in 1961. He broke his leg during training camp and retired.

In high school, Besanson was an all-state selection in 1954, leading Delmont to the state tournament.

He is a member of the YC and SDIC halls of fame.












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