A rich tradition in basketball runs deep at Cretin-Derham Hall. But it is the dominance over the past decade that makes the CDH boys’ basketball team distinguished.
With a history dating back many decades, there is no arguing that CDH boys’ basketball had historical moments throughout the years, from their first MSHSL state tournament team in 1975-76, to a program with a string of consecutive state tournament appearances, to state titles in 1991 and 1993. But the most recent 10 years of basketball are arguably the best decade of basketball in program history.
It might be safe to say that the state championship in 2018 was the top shining moment for CDH boys’ basketball.
But, on top of the postseason accolade, the Raiders have secured a record of 242-58 since 2011, including a record of 129-21 over the past five seasons.
The Raiders have had tremendous success in postseason play. CDH made seven section championship game appearances from the 2010-11 season until the 2019-20 season as well as state tournament appearances in 2011, 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2020
The team has also set multiple records, including tying the record for most wins in a season with 30 during the 2017-18 season and setting the record for most consecutive wins with 24 from December of 2017 to March of 2018. There have also been several team records set or tied during the last 10 seasons, including the all time leading scorer, rebounder and blocked shots.
The players are the ones executing the plays on the court, but the success starts at the top; with head coach Jerry Kline ’93. Kline took over the helm in the 2004-05 season and has seen fifteen winning seasons since taking over.
Kline is the second winningest coach in CDH boys’ basketball history and is nearing 400 career wins soon. When asked how he brought his teams to where they are today, he credits his players first and foremost.
"I want kids who are going to work hard and commit to the winning culture of CDH basketball," Kline said. "I think you've seen over the past number of years that our community consists of student-athletes who are willing to work hard on a daily basis. Our coaching staff works tirelessly to prepare each week, but the athletes are the ones dedicating their time to be the best they can be."
The student-athletes that are part of the CDH boys’ basketball program have made a difference on the court and in the classroom. There have been 11 NCAA Division 1 players, 29 All-Conference members, and the program produced its first NBA player when Daniel Oturu ’18 was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2020 NBA Draft after two outstanding years at the University of Minnesota.
The players have been just as impressive off the court. In 2020, the team was awarded the academic section championship with a 3.47 team GPA.
"These players understand the importance of off the court work," Kline commented. "They know that people will remember them for what they do on the court, but it's what they accomplish off the court that will leave a legacy, and they get that."
If the past decade has reminded fans that CDH boys’ basketball history is rich and runs deep, then the Raider faithful is prepared for what the next 10 years have in store.