by Padraic Duffy
When Dave Hollenbeck hears the National Anthem, he’s ready to go. Just like he’s always been.
The St. Thomas More boys basketball coach has won four state championships in his 20 years at the school, but the journey to becoming one of South Dakota’s best began when Mary and Henry “Bud” Hollenbeck’s youngest of seven children was just 4 years old.
“Before I started kindergarten, my parents would listen to Paul Harvey on the radio at noon every day,” Hollenbeck said. “And just before he would come on the air, the radio station would play the National Anthem. I would have my warm-up top on, an old zip-up sweater, and act like I was in line on the bench facing the flag, As soon as the anthem was over, my warm-up would come off and my game for the day on the Nerf hoop would start.”
Hollenbeck first became enamored with the game watching his oldest brother, Pat, play for the Edgemont Moguls. He still remembers his brother Mike playing city league games in Newcastle, Wyo., and the thrill he got when he was allowed to go watch.
From there he and his brother Bill would play one-on-one throughout elementary and middle school. Dave started getting the best of those battles as a freshman in high school and winning, in just about anything, has always been the goal.