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Paulsen Award

Derek Paulsen was a member of the 1998 & 1999 Dakota Schooler teams. He was an outstanding athlete and was one of the top basketball players in the state of South Dakota.  A few days after the 1999 Schooler season, Derek and his girlfriend Eva Wahlstrom were tragically killed in a head on car accident. 

Prior to the accident Derek attended the Nike All-American Camp in Indianapolis, IN.  He played very well there and was receiving interest from many  Division I schools including Northwestern, Marquette, Princeton, Miami, Penn State, Kansas State and Michigan State.

One week before the accident Derek competed with the Schoolers in the Adidas Big Time Tournament and the Pump N Run Best of the Summer Tournament.  Derek helped lead the Schoolers to the third round of the  Open Division Tournament at the Big Time Tournament where the Schoolers lost to Alabama Ice. 

Derek was a leader on and off the court.  He was a quiet kid who had a great sense of humor and was loved by all of his teammates.  Sports Illustrated wrote an article about Derek entitled "Custer's Fallen Warrior" (February 21, 2000) stating, "Fourteen hundred people attended the memorial service.  Derek and Eva, the best and the brightest, were laid to rest side by side in a small cemetery in Hermosa, her hometown, on a slope overlooking the Black Hills.  She'd taken Derek there the day before the accident to show him the view from the plot she wanted to be buried. Now it was their view, forever."

Since 2001 the Dakota Schoolers Basketball Club has awarded the Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award.  The award is presented to the Dakota Schooler, who through the eyes of his teammates, displays character, leadership, dedication and team play both on and off the court.   It is awarded in memory of Derek Paulsen, to recognize the outstanding qualities that make this Dakota Schooler special.

In additional to the award the Schooler have retired the jersey number 25. Derek wore #25 for two summers and no future Schooler could ever fill the void left by Dereks tragic accident.

Previous Paulsen Award Winners

2018 Derek Paulsen winner Trey King

2017 Derek Paulsen winner A.J. Plitzuweit

2016 Derek Paulsen Winner Tayt Vincent

2015 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award recipient Brevan Kaiser

Pictured (L to R):  Matt Daly, Brevan Kaiser, Paul Seville

2014 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award recipient Davis Cowan

Pictured (L to R):  Paul Seville, Davis Cowan, Kent Mueller

2013 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award recipient Conrad Adam 

Pictured (L to R):  Paul Seville, Conrad Adam

2012 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award recipient Chase Marso

Pictured (L to R):  Kent Mueller, Chase Marso, Paul Seville, Pat Kraning

2011 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award recipient Scott Mulder

Pictured (L to R):  Scott Mulder & Paul Seville

2010 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award recipient Joey Olson

Pictured (L to R):  Paul Seville, Joey Olson, Kent Mueller, Pat Kraning

2009 Derek Paulsen Inspirational Award Recipient Russ Hendrickson

Pictured (L to R)  Paul Seville, Russ Hendrickson, Kent Mueller

2008 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award recipient  David Maxwell

Pictured (L to R) Tim Reck, Matt Daly, David Maxwell, Kent Mueller, Paul Seville
 

2007 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award recipient Dan Schmidt

Pictured L to R  Dan Schmidt, Paul Seville

2006 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award recipient Jason DeZeeuw

Pictured (L to R)  Paul Seville, Tim Reck, Jason DeZeeuw, Kent Mueller

2005 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award Recipient Mitch Boeck

Pictured (L to R) Paul Seville, Mitch Boeck, Kent Mueller, Tim Reck

2004 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award recipient Mitch Begeman

Pictured (L to R):  Paul Seville, Mitch Begeman, Kent Mueller
 

2003 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award Recipient Dustin Little

Pictured (L to R)  Kent Mueller, Dustin Little, Paul Seville

2002 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award Recipient Paige Paulsen

Pictured (L to R) Tim Reck, Paul Seville, Paige Paulsen, Fred Paulsen, Mike Begeman

2001 Derek Paulsen Inspiration Award Recipient Matt Hammer

Pictured (L to R)  Paul Seville, Matt Hammer, Fred Paulsen, Mike Begeman