2019 HALL OF FAME NOMINEE: Sonny Young-Graves
Young-Graves celebrated his 10-year anniversary playing in Minnesota Rec during the Winter 2019 season, going 4-5 with the Muskies, the team he’s captained since 2016. In the Winter 2009 season, he went 4-4 with the Goodfellas. Young-Graves would go on to win the first of his five UH championships in the Fall of 2009, as his Celtics defeated fellow HOF nominee Dustin Dupont’s Cobra Kai. Young-Graves scored a team-high 18 points and buried all four 3s he took to secure the victory.
There are not many people that have played in UH for a decade. Most regions are not old enough to afford that opportunity yet, but even in Minnesota, which has been running since 2006, it’s not common to see people play as consistently and as long as Young-Graves has. He has played the second-most games in UH history (744), trailing only Hall of Famer Ryan Jansen.
In those 700-plus games, Young-Graves has averaged 13.7 points on 40 percent shooting from the field and 38 percent from deep. He’s lived behind the 3-point line his entire career, as 5,637 of his 8,349 shots have come from beyond the arc (67.5 percent). The 2,128 shots he’s made from the outside is the second-most in UH history, and it’s the main reason why he’s one of six players in UH to ever score 10,000 career points.
Young-Graves has had a significant impact on the entire UH Minnesota community. He’s essentially the Leonardo da Vinci of UH Minnesota; he can do a little bit of everything. He fills in as a statistician or referee if it’s needed in Bloomington South or Fridley. He was also the league coordinator in Fridley in 2016 and 2017, helping keep the league at or above eight teams in the seasons he oversaw it.
Young-Graves picks up his first nomination for the Hall of Fame this year and faces some tight competition in his own region to possibly get inducted. Between him, Dustin Dupont, Chris Maher, Reid Nelson and Joe Neuenfeldt, it’ll be likely that a few of them miss their chance at an induction. We’ll find out this summer who gets in to represent the Class of 2019.