Remembering Augsburg Athletes this Black History Month

Bobbi Jo Evers, staff writer

In honor of Black History Month, we want to bring recognition to some incredible former Black athletes that are still regarded as some of the best that Augsburg has ever had. Although we wish we could highlight all the amazing athletes that deserve recognition, here are five that have made Augsburg history. 

Marcus LeVesseur ‘07 was a key player in one of the best Augsburg mens wrestling seasons of all time. LeVesseur made history in 2007 as he became one of two wrestlers to ever be undefeated and untied for their full career in the NCAA. He was also the first NCAA Division III wrestler to win four individual championships (in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2007). The 155 victories he holds are one of only three unbeaten careers in collegiate wrestling history at any level. 

The next athlete on the list is Augsburg mens basketball great Devean George ‘99. George was the first Division III player to ever be chosen in the first round of the NBA draft, selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 23rd overall pick. George’s college jersey number 40 was retired by the school in 2003. While he wore different numbers in the NBA, he returned to that number when he signed with the Dallas Mavericks. Devean George is one of only nine players who had played NCAA Division III basketball to receive playing time in the NBA, and he to this day remains the only player who has ever played in the NBA Finals as a former NCAA Division III player. 

For the womens basketball team, Taunya Tinsley ‘89 was one of the top womens basketball players in the school’s history. Not only is she one of six Augsburg womens players to reach 1,000 career points, she is still listed in 19 single season individual and career school record lists. Tinsley is tied for third in most points scored in a single game, scoring 34 in two games. 

Bringing it back in time just a bit further is Melanie Herrera-Storlie ‘88, one of our most accomplished womens track athletes in school history. Herrera earned All-American honors seven times throughout her career as an Auggie as a thrower. She was an NCAA Championship qualifier in the shot put for four seasons outdoor competition, as well as three seasons indoor competition. Herrera still holds an NCAA championship record for her distance of 15.25 meters in the shot put in 1988. Herrera also played three seasons on the volleyball team. Herrera was inducted into the Augsburg Hall of Fame in 2003. 

The oldest alumni in this article, Greg Boone ’81, was an NAIA mens basketball All-American in 1981. Not only that, but Boone also took part in winning the MIAC Championship in 1980 and 1981, as well as earning MVP, All-MIAC and conference honors in both those years. Boone is one of only three Auggies to be drafted onto an NBA team, being selected by the Cavaliers in the 10th round of the 1981 draft. He was the leading scorer and rebounder for the only two seasons he played for the Auggies, placing ninth in school history with 1,258 career points.

It’s important to learn about these historic Auggie athletes and their accomplishments this month and every month. If you’re interested in learning more about them, check out the Augsburg Athletics website to learn more about the phenomenal athletes we have had over the years.