MSU-Northern Alumni Association
Cowan Hall 307
Basketball took center stage during the Montana State University Northern Alumni Games weekend during the Northern Alumni Association Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday evening, October 15, 2005, on the MSU Northern campus in Havre, Montana. Honoring a 75 year tradition of excellence both in the classroom and on the playing field, three outstanding athletes were recognized during ceremonies for the Hall of Fame inductions.
Since its inception in 1994, 47 outstanding coaches and athletes have been inducted. Joining them are two members of the Skylight's elite 1993 NAIA Women's Basketball National Championship team, Kari Fike Filius of Havre, Montana, Kim Fike Finn of Big Timber, Montana and NAIA All American Lights Basketball standout, Deon C. Jones of Owings Mills, Maryland.
Kari Fike Filius '93 and Kim Fike Finn, ' 93, played an integral part in the drive for excellence that brought the first women's national title to Northern and to the Frontier Conference. They were key leaders in the "Decade of Dominance" in the Northern women's program and were well known for their outstanding work ethic and quiet leadership. The dynamic duo was a fearsome combination on the court. Their skill was undeniable and so consistently similar that it was hard to tell them apart. Off the court, they compiled an amazing record in the classroom, given their commitment to many extra hours of training and practice.
Filius and Finn both achieved Academic All Conference awards for three years and Academic AllAmerican honors in 1992 and 1993. They played on four Conference Championship and four District Championship teams and were both awarded the team's Best Defensive Player award for four years from 1989 1993; both received All Conference honors in 1993; both were Conference Player of the Week two times in their careers. Confidence in their leadership was evidenced by their coach, Sherry Winn, naming them team co captains in 1993 when the team went on to win the NAIA National Championship. They were loyal to the program and played their entire college careers at Northern.
Filius scored 1,181 points from the guard position, most often alongside her twin sister, Kim. She teaches Health Enhancement for Havre Public Schools and has coached basketball and cross country during her ten years in education. She has also earned her master's degree in education and is currently coaching her own children in their youth sports. Filius is married to Scott Filius, a 2002 Hall of Fame Wrestler, and they have three children, Peyton, Parker, and Sadie.
Kim Finn, of Big Timber, Montana has been in education for eight of the last ten years, working as a teacher's aide and then as a kindergarten teacher for five years in Reed Point, Montana. She is pursuing her Elementary Education degree and will be back in the classroom by 2006. Finn has coached high school and junior high basketball and track and is currently the assistant track coach at Sweet Grass County High School in Big Timber. She is active in coaching her sons in their favorite sports of soccer, basketball and baseball. Finn is married to Monte Finn and they have three children; Brent, Blake, and Bailey.
Deon C. Jones, Class of '95, of Owings Mills, Maryland, was a four year starter from 1991-94 for the Lights, starting every game, every year. He earned All Conference, All District and Academic All American honors his sophomore year; All Conference and NAIA Academic All American his junior year; All Conference, Academic AllAmerican and MVP of the Conference in his senior year. He broke the men's all time scoring record, which he still holds, and was one of the best defenders for his size to have played at Northern. Jones still holds the records for most career free-throws for a career, most free-throws for a season, best free throw percentage in a season, scoring total for a career, and most career assists. Known as "Mr. Clutch" by his teammates, he was a tough minded floor general and one of the most athletically gifted, motivated and hard working athletes to play the game at Northern. His coach, Loren Baker, said that Deon Jones "may have been the best player to ever play for Northern: He had a tremendous work ethic and made such a commitment for all four years."