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Basketball has been lifelong affair for Breckenridge's Lipp

Breckenridge's Stevin Lipp is all smiles as he walks off the court after the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 boys basketball championship game at Concordia.David Samson/Forum News Service

Breckenridge boys basketball coach Arly Ohm has a visual of Stevin Lipp, which he'll always associate with the senior.

It's not Lipp soaring for a dunk or any of the 468 points he's scored this season. It's not of him breaking his uncle's school record for points in a game when Stevin surpassed 1,000 points for his career with 41 against Waubun.

It isn't of the 6-foot-3 senior carving through the Perham defense and scoring a game-high 23 points to help knock off the No. 7-ranked Yellowjackets in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 championship last Friday.

Ohm will always remember Lipp as the little kid with popcorn in one hand and a basketball in the other, next to his dad, Rollie, as he called basketball games on the radio.

"I've known him since he was a little kid," Ohm said. "I've known Stevin coming to ballgames with his dad forever. I saw the passion as a youngster, always dribbling the basketball down the street. He was always shooting at open gyms, hanging around his dad doing games. Stevin has lived in the gym."

Before Lipp was leading Breckenridge to the Class 2A state tournament quarterfinals, as he will do at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, against No. 3 seed Crosby-Ironton at Williams Arena, he was just a kid with a basketball.

"It's pretty much my everything, my go-to," Stevin said. "If I'm having a bad day or stressed out, I'll go to a court right down the street. Anytime I want to get away, I'll just go there or the local junior college where college kids are running pick-up games."

Basketball was in the blood for Lipp. His grandpa, Steve, whom he is named after, was a hall of fame head coach in Breckenridge. His uncles and dad played in Breckenridge. One of his uncles, Brady, played for North Dakota State where Lipp's dad was the public address announcer. For six straight years, Stevin never missed a game his dad did for the Bison.

"I think Stevin really grew a passion for basketball during those years," said Rollie, who still calls Breckenridge games, as the sports director for KBMW. "We would often arrive at the fieldhouse early, so Stevin could shoot around and (the players) were really cool to him when he would hang around."

Stevin has never forgotten those days.

"That was a blast," Stevin said. "We would always go to games early and the players would be warming up. I remember shooting around with them a few hours before the games. It definitely made me want to play basketball a lot more and maybe try to play at the next level."

In 2009, the family moved from Moorhead to Breckenridge, so Stevin's grandma could see him and his sister, Shalie, grow up. Stevin's mother came from wrestling powerhouse Frazee and wanted him to wrestle, but Breckenridge was the choice. Stevin ended up with Cowboy basketball where people now refer to him as the Michael Jordan of Breckenridge.

"It's because he does things we don't see here in Breckenridge," Ohm said. "I call him competitive greatness. It's a (hall of fame college basketball coach) John Wooden term. Be at your best when your best is needed. That, to me, defines Stevin Lipp. He thrives on the bigger moments, the bigger stages."

Stevin hasn't forgotten the kid he once was, dribbling the basketball down the street. That's why he stays late to sign things for the youth basketball players in Breckenridge.

That's how he wants to be remembered.

"I hope I get remembered as being part of the team that turned around the culture in Breckenridge," Stevin said. "I want to be the guy who made kids want to come out and work a lot harder on their game."

Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.

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