Maple Grove High School counselor Darwin Kreft was inducted into the Concordia College-Moorhead Athletic Hall of fame this fall.
Kreft was a 1972 graduate of Sac Community High School in Sac City, Iowa, where he lettered in football basketball, track and field and baseball during his senior year.
But basketball was Kreft’s passion and he decided to ‘walk on’ at Northwest Missouri State as a freshman. The next year he received a scholarship to play at Bismarck Junior College. That year the team finished as Mon-Dak champion with a 19-9 record. His fine play resulted in Kreft being recruited in spring 1974 to play at Concordia College-Moorhead by Coach Sonny Gulsvig. Thus began a successful career.
During the 74-75 season, Kreft averaged 14.5 points and 9.6 rebounds a game and was named team MVP as well as being All Conference-MIAC. During his senior year (75-76) he averaged 18.1 points and 10.1 boards with a .640 FG percentage. He received MVP, All MIAC, All NAIA District 13, and First Team All Lutheran.
“It was a great group of teammates and I benefitted enormously from my experience as a Cobber as well as the outstanding educational opportunities Concordia provided,” Kreft said.
Kreft said it is hard to describe his feeling about his induction.
“It’s certainly a tremendous honor- something that was overwhelming and quite humbling,” Kreft said. “I would not have received an award such as this without the support of some amazing teammates, coaches, friends, classmates, and most importantly my parents. They would drive from Sac City Iowa to Moorhead to see our games. My dad was a farmer until he retired five years ago at the age of 80 and my mom (who has passed) was a kindergarten teacher. They would make the 12-hour round trip (regardless of weather) to see our games needing to get back to the farm. One could not ask for more supportive fans. In short, I feel tremendously blessed as I have had people looking out for me every step of the way, and I remain very grateful for all that I have been so fortunate to receive.”
After college, Kreft focused on international education and he coached and taught at the American Embassy School in New Delhi, India (1980-83) and then at the International School-Manila in the Philippines (1986-2000). He returned to teach social studies at both Osseo Senior and Maple Grove Senior until finally becoming a full time counselor at Maple Grove Senior.
Kreft follows Crimson sports and still plays basketball.
“ I do play but it is seriously UGLY,” he said. “We play ‘Old Man’ ball every Sunday. My spirit is willing but my body is not. With my advancing years, the one thing I do appreciate is the friendship of my fellow competitors. Even though our ‘games’ are in decline, our friendships only get better over time.”