- Athletic Division
Kevin Rankin, APHS 1990, began playing basketball when he was 11 years old and nearly 6’ tall. Love for the game ran in the family, as his grandfather, Clem Rankin, starred as a forward at Lawrence University in Appleton, and his dad, Dick Rankin, was a Hall of Fame center at SNC. Dick later became the Dean of Students at SNC, so Kevin grew up on campus where he spent countless hours shooting baskets in the Schuldes Sports Center.
At APHS, Kevin was a three-year Varsity basketball player under the direction of Bob LaViolette, helping the team reach the state semifinals his junior year. In his senior year, he led APHS to a 25-2 record and a storybook championship victory in the 1990 WISAA state tournament. At 6’11”, Kevin averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds per game.
During the state tournament, APHS came from 22 points behind in the first game, won the second game by one point, and, in the championship game, upset Milwaukee Marquette, the number 22 ranked team in the nation, by a score of 49-48 in overtime with Joe Herzog making a three-pointer with three seconds left. In that game, Kevin had 26 points. He earned first-team All Pro (AP) and United Press International (UPI) all-state honors and finished his high school career with 1,026 points.
Kevin accepted a scholarship to Northwestern University (NU), where he started 111 of the 112 games. He led the Wildcats in rebounds all four seasons, and finished his NU career as the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots and rebounds, as well as the third leading all-time scorer. During his senior year, Kevin led the team to its first National Invitation Tournament since 1983. Academically, Kevin was named to the Academic All-American second team in 1994 and the third team in 1993. He won a spot on the Academic
All-Big Ten team each year from 1991 to 1994 and was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor, the conference’s most exclusive award recognizing scholastic and athletic excellence, in 1994.
After going undrafted in the 1994 NBA draft, Rankin joined the Chicago Bulls for NBA Summer League and Training Camp. Later that fall, he signed with Fenerbache, a team in the European League, starting a nine-year career playing professionally for teams in Turkey, Italy, Israel, Spain, and Germany. He retired in 2003 and works in insurance outside of Chicago. In addition, Rankin was inducted to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2000, Kevin married Laura Holliday, whom he met while they were students at NU. They have two children, Jack, 12 and Maggie, 9, both of whom are happily growing up Packers fans.