Devils Lake's Grant Nelson is North Dakota's Mr. Basketball in 2020, selected and announced Friday by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Nelson received 88 total points and 13 of 23 first-place votes in the 5-3-1 voting points system, while Jamestown's Boden Skunberg garnered 70 points and seven first-place votes. Nelson and Skunberg will be men's basketball teammates next season at North Dakota State University.
Nelson is the 38th recipient of the state's Mr. Basketball award, which is doled out by the media to the state's top high school senior player regardless of classification. Nelson was Devils Lake's sixth finalist for the award and became the second winner along with Travis Mertens in 2006.
The 6-foot-9 Nelson posted per-game averages of 24.6 points, 18.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 5.7 blocks for the 14-12 Firebirds in 2019-20.
Skunberg was Jamestown High School's seventh Mr. Basketball finalist and was looking to become the school's third recipient along with Mason Walters last season and Bryan Flam in 1987.
Skunberg averaged 28.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals in 16 games for the 21-4 Blue Jays. Skunberg was named North Dakota Gatorade player of the year on Thursday and was a unanimous Class A all-state first-team selection, along with Nelson, after missing nine games to both sickness and a broken finger.
Skunberg will leave the Blue Jays as the program’s all-time leader in both scoring (1,732) and rebounding (622).
Hillsboro/Central Valley's Carson Henningsgard was third in the voting (36 points, 3 first-place votes), Minot's Jaxon Gunville was fourth (5 points), Richland's Cole Myers was fifth (4 points), Mandan's Elijah Klein was sixth (2 points) and Shiloh Christian's Jaden Mitzel was seventh (2 points).
2020 Mr. Basketball Finalists
WINNER -- Grant Nelson, 6-9 forward, Devils Lake: 24.6 ppg, 18.3 rpb, 2.6 apg, 1.1 spg and 5.7 bpg. (88 points)
Skunberg, 6-5 guard, Jamestown: 28.4 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.8 apg and 1.6 spg. (70 points)
Carson Henningsgard, 6-2 point guard, Hillsboro/Central Valley: 22.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3 spg, 6.5 apg. (36 points)
Jaxon Gunville, 6-1 guard, Minot:25.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.2 spg. (5 points)
Cole Myers, 6-3 guard/forward, Richland: 22.1 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.6 spg. (4 points)
Elijah Klein, 6-7 forward, Mandan: 19.3 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.2 spg, 1.4 bpg. (2 points)
Jaden Mitzel, 6-2 forward, Shiloh Christian: 25 ppg, 11 rpg, 4 apg. (2 points)
Jamestown Mr. Basketball Finalists
* Denotes winners
1986: Darin Jensen
1987: Bryan Flam*
1988: Steve Koenig
1991: John Ruff
2016: Noah Wanzek
2019: Mason Walters*
2020: Boden Skunberg
Devils Lake Mr. Basketball Finalists
* Denotes winners
1996: Justin Johnson
1999: Josh Johnson
2006: Travis Mertens*
2013: Nate Mertens
2017: Jacob Merten
2020: Grant Nelson*