’78 Wadena graduate referees WDC girls’ basketball game, notable alumnus
It’s likely the Wadena-Deer Creek girls’ basketball team had no idea that one of referees was a 1978 graduate of Wadena High School and that he holds the prestigious position of a District Judge.
Most were focused on seeing if WDC senior guard Hope Theisen would surpass 1,000 points. She didn’t disappoint the home crowd either. Theisen, who needed 8 points to hit 1,000, sunk a 3-pointer the first half to reach 1,001 and eventually score 26 points on the evening.
In the stands though were two of the basketball referee Rodney Hanson’s most ardent and devoted fans – his parents, Harlyn and Janette, who reside in Wadena.
“Are we proud of him? You bet! Very proud of him,” said Harlyn, 78, who operated Hanson’s Art Gallery out of their home for many years. Now retired, the Hansons enjoy following their children and grandchildren’s’ activities.
When Rodney Hanson is not wearing stripes and blowing a whistle, he dons a robe as a judge of the Eighth District Court in Minnesota, serving Pope County. He was appointed to the bench the fall of 2013 by Gov. Mark Dayton. Prior to his judicial appointment in 2013, Hanson practiced civil litigation for 28 years. He was a partner with the law firm of Anderson, Larson, Hanson & Saunders in Willmar.
In addition to graduating from Wadena High School in 1978, Hanson earned a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College and his juris doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law. Hanson and his wife, Debra, a psychologist, reside in Willmar with their family.
You just never know when notable Wadena-Deer Creek High School alum is in our midst.