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

Vince Whipple, Sr. - Inducted 2022

Considered one of the state’s finest shooters in history, Vince Whipple’s numbers may have been unreachable had he played in the era of the three-point line. He was one of the best assist men and ball-handlers of his time as well.

Whipple graduated from Rapid City High School in 1956 and after his military service graduated from Huron College. He is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, raised by his grandparents (the Stirks) near Rockford on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The 5-foot-11 Whipple set Boys’ Basketball State Tournament scoring records for a semifinal game (36 points vs. Belle Fourche) and tournament (79) in 1956. His Rapid City Cobblers (22-3) finished as state runner-up to Sioux Falls Washington by a score of 55-53 in the championship game as Whipple’s half-court shot rimmed out. He led all scorers in the title game with 24 points. Whipple, an A honor roll student, was a first-team all-state guard in 1956 who had only three turnovers that season and was one of the state’s best defensive players, according to Rapid City coach Bill Mitchell. Whipple was a tremendous quarterback in football, distance runner in track, and ambidextrous baseball player who could pitch and hit from either side.

After high school, Whipple proudly served stateside and overseas in the US Marine Corps. After boot camp, he earned his platoon’s prestigious Honor Graduate award for his physical, scholarship, leadership, and marksmanship skills. Later in his military career he was tourney MVP as he led his 9th Marines team to the Third Marine Division Basketball Championship in 1959. Despite a nagging back injury, Whipple became a four-year basketball starter for Huron College who averaged 14 points per game as a senior to earn all-conference honors. Whipple was a life-changing, long-time coach, teacher, and school counselor in South Dakota mainly in Rapid City and Oglala Lakota County School District. His St. Francis boys’ cross country team won the state title in 1969.

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