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Former Dyersburg standout Don Mann selected for Murray State Hall of Fame

Friday, January 6, 2012

After a stellar high school career at DHS that resulted in a state tournament appearance by the Trojans in 1984, former Dyersburg basketball standout Don Mann took his talents to the next level at Murray State University in 1985.

Proving that he indeed belonged at a higher level, Mann enjoyed an incredible, highlight-filled four-year stint at Murray State before ending his career with the Racers in 1989. On Saturday, Jan. 27 at the CFSB Center in Murray, KY Mann will step back into the limelight one more time when he is inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame.

Speaking with the State Gazette on Thursday by phone from Alabama, Mann acknowledged when he is honored along with four others with the Hall of Fame distinction it will be a great day for he and his family.

"It's going to great to see some of the guys I played with, and I'm honored to be chosen for the Hall of Fame. It means a lot to me," said Mann. "The night will solidify for me the choice I made after my career was over to become a father to raise my family."

At Murray State, Mann was a three-time All-OVC selection from 1987-89, and is one of only nine Racer basketball players to be named All-OVC three times. He was part of one of the most successful periods of Racers basketball that included two OVC Championships and MSU's first victory in the NCAA Tournament in 1988 over North Carolina State.

Mann led the Racers in assists in four-straight seasons and his career total of 531 is still at the top of the list at MSU and ninth overall in the OVC. He also ranks third at MSU in made three-point baskets with 204 and is one of 35 players in the MSU 1000-Point Club, ranking 16th in career scoring with 1,449 points.

While at DHS, Mann was a fierce competitor with a shooter's touch as well as an incredible eye for open teammates. He said his time at DHS was excellent preparation for what he faced once he arrived to begin his college career.

"Playing at Dyersburg prepared me tremendously because it gave me the confidence that I needed to be successful at Murray while playing against top competition," he added. "We worked hard at Dyersburg to become winners and it was the same way at Murray."

When the college experience was over, Mann had aspirations of continuing his career in the NBA. Though the dream was cut short when he was released by the Milwaukee Bucks just prior to earning a spot on the final roster, Mann did what he had to do by going to work to support his family.

"I didn't chase my dream, but instead I decided to become a father and raise my family," he said. "I wanted to do it, but the love I had for my family outweighed the game of basketball tremendously and I made the right decision."

Now with his family practically raised, Mann will return to the court one more time on Jan.28 to be honored with a special group during the game between Murray State and Eastern Illinois.

"I am truly blessed," added Mann. "Probably more than I deserve."

Mann and his wife Brenda have four children, Don. Jr. (28), Brittney (27), Verkeneo (21) and Ashley (19).

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