Update April 21 2:00 p.m.: Prince has died at age 57.
By now, you should have seen the hilarious “Chappelle Show” skit in which Charlie Murphy recalls a night when Prince surprisingly schooled him in basketball (if not, drop everything and check it out). And there has been some corroboration that the diminutive pop star/strange person really does have game.
On Tuesday, we got something wonderful: An old photo of Prince in his high school basketball uniform, plus some words of praise from his coach at the time. This came from Libor Jany, a reporter for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, where the man who would later give us “Purple Rain” first learned to rain jumpers.
In a shocking upset, Prince doesn’t even appear to have the biggest hair on the squad, but he’s still more than bringing it in that department. However, it seems that even then, young Prince wanted to be the frontman, certainly not the “sixth or seventh man.”
Even if he complained about his role on the team more times than Morris Day and The Time had band members, it’s clear from this account that Prince could play basketball, and play well. Even when wearing a tank top, not a blouse.
Update, 2:30 p.m.: Chris Riemenschneider, a music critic at the Star Tribune, told me that the original reporter for the Prince material excerpted above was his colleague Jon Bream, “a longtime Prince authority/historian.” Jany, of course, found the material in the newspaper’s archives and tweeted it out.