The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.

Leonard "Jimmy" Lovley



Born Oct. 28, 1900, near Arcadia, Iowa. 1920 Elkton HS grad. 1925 Creighton grad. In 1901, moved to Elkton, where his dad ran a livery stable and was school custodian. One of South Dakota's earliest and greatest basketball stars, Lovley led Elkton to state titles in 1919 and '20 and was a two-time All-American at Creighton University (1923 and '24). Lovley was inducted into the Helms Foundation Basketball Hall of Fame in 1957, the only South Dakotan to be so honored. In 1986 during South Dakota's centennial, Lovley was named as captain of the all-time South Dakota basketball team as chosen by the Argus Leader. Elkton's 42-6 victory over Mitchell in 1919 is the most onesided win in state championship game history. Though it competed against mostly larger towns in what was then a one-class state tournament, Elkton was the first team to win two, and then three, state titles (Elkton had previously won a state title in 1915). So good was Elkton that the team beat the best college team in the Dakotas "in a programmed scrimmage," according to Bishop Lambert Hoch, a classmate of Lovley's at Elkton and Creighton. Elkton won the national Catholic title in 1920 in Chicago. Lovley and teammates achieved greatness despite using an unheated opera house in Elkton for a gym. The 12-foot ceiling forced players to shoot with little arch. At Creighton, the 6-foot-2 Lovley led the Bluejays to North Central Conference titles in 1923 and '24. He was the first Creighton player to be team captain two years in a row. Creighton was 14-5 in 1923, losing three times when Lovley was sidelined (including 7-6 to Marquette). He had 22 points in a 38-17 victory over South Dakota State. Creighton was 15-2 in 1924 with wins over Indiana, Notre Dame, Marquette, Iowa and Michigan State. In his final college game, the game was stopped with two minutes to play as Lovley was presented with a platinum watch, "the token of esteem from a great team to a great leader."






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