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Mitchell's Gavin Soukup set to join South Dakota Mines men's basketball program

Jun. 6—MITCHELL — Gavin Soukup is headed west.

After pondering his college choice throughout the 2023-24 academic year, the recently graduated Mitchell High School basketball standout landed with the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City.

South Dakota Mines men's basketball officially announced Soukup's signing on May 15. Soukup plans to study business management in technology.

Prior to the Class AA postseason, Soukup told the Mitchell Republic that he was set to choose between Dakota Wesleyan and Mount Marty following the conclusion of the season. However, the Kernels' march to a state championship grabbed the attention of another suitor.

"Everyone wants winners," Soukup said. "With Mitchell winning (the state title), that put a lot of eyes on us. And I played really well — that was the best basketball I think I played all season — so that was a great way to end it."

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The 6-foot-3 senior guard put up 17.3 points and 4.7 assists per game over three days in Sioux Falls to help lead MHS to a state championship. For the season, Soukup posted 12.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, earning Class AA all-state second-team recognition.

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Mitchell's Gavin Soukup (12) shoots a 3-pointer over a Thunder Basin (Wyo.) defender during a Hoop City Classic boys basketball game on Friday, Dec. 29, 2023, at the Corn Palace.

Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

"Honestly, before last season, I was kind of questioning if I was going to play basketball at the college level and if I really wanted that," Soukup said. "Especially with the thrill of winning a state championship, it felt like I had to. It's definitely a big part of me."

Soukup also credits Allan Bertram, his summer AAU coach with the Sacred Hoops Basketball Academy (of which Bertram is also a founder), for helping Soukup connect with the Hardrockers' coaching staff. Bertram coached at Rapid City Central High School prior to taking his current position as the head women's basketball coach at Mount Marty.

South Dakota Mines is an NCAA Division II institution that competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Last season, the Hardrockers' men's basketball program finished with an 11-17 overall record.

"It's a great opportunity," Soukup said. "I really like the coaching staff, and when I went out there and played, it felt like home. That made it a pretty easy decision."

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