Doug Koster (President)
Founder of the Mr. Basketball &
Miss Basketball Tournaments
Doug Koster hosted the first Mr. Basketball Invitational in 1992 with a field of 12 teams from five states. The lone Mr. Basketball tournament in 1992, quickly grew into a full-time basketball promotion business, Mr. Basketball, Inc. Now in his 29th year of operation, Koster has hosted more than 400 tournaments.
Since 1992, boys and girls teams from 37 states and three Canadian provinces have ventured to Kearney, Nebraska, for the tournaments.
Alumni of the Mr. Basketball & Miss Basketball tournaments have gone on to play in the NBA, WNBA, NFL and for many of the NCAA’s top programs.
Mr. Basketball Inc. was named the 2008 Small Business of the Year at the 90th Annual Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce banquet on March 2, 2009. The annual award honors recipients for their impact on economic growth in the Kearney Area, creativity, community involvement and leadership. (Photo Below) Doug Koster with Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman at the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce banquet.
Although the majority of the events are held in Kearney, Koster also hosts the Dakota Showcase college exposure tournament in Sioux Falls along with a handful of youth tournaments in other communities in Central Nebraska.
In 1992, Doug was certainly the nation’s youngest major tournament director at just 19 years of age, and a college freshman. From the beginning, coaches have praised the events as the best organized events they compete in.
Doug Koster graduated from Kearney High School in 1991 and the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1995. He was the first to enroll in UNK’s Sport Administration program.
In 1994, he served an internship with the Indiana Pacers front office in media and community relations for five months as part of his Sport Administration degree. Koster also served as an administrative assistant during the Southern California Pro Basketball Summer League for NBA players.
During his prep career, Koster led the Kearney High Bearcats to the state tournament quarterfinals in 1990, and the state semi-finals in 1991. As a senior, he averaged 23.05 points and 12 boards while leading the Cats to a 15-5 record. He set several KHS scoring and rebounding records and was a two-time first team Class A (big school) all-state selection. He continues to hold the record for single season scoring average with 23.05 ppg.
Doug was inducted into the Kearney High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019.
He was a member of the 1990 Valentino’s Nebraska All-Star Team that advanced to the Final 8 of the Nike Las Vegas Invitational, before being ousted by a Dallas team led by future NBA players Greg Ostertag, Mario Bennett and Jimmy King. Doug’s Valentino’s teammate Erick Strickland played in the NBA for a number of years with Dallas, Milwaukee and Boston.
Koster served as the freshman boys assistant for one year before serving as the sophomore head coach for two seasons at Kearney High.
Shortly after starting the Mr. Basketball events, Koster helped form the Kearney Basketball Club, Inc., to offer programs for Kearney’s 3rd-8th graders. Koster served as Executive Director for more than a quarter century.
A 2004 article in the Kearney Hub focused on the $5 million economic impact of the Mr. Basketball, Inc., events on the local economy.
United States Congressman Tom Osborne highlighted Doug’s entrepreneurship efforts in his Entrepreneur Handbook publication in 2004.
In February 2009, Doug Koster was presented the 2008 Marketer of the Year award by the University of Nebraska at Kearney chapter of the American Marketing Association.
Koster is a member of the Kearney Bearcat Booster Club. Professional services donated by Mr. Basketball, Inc., helped raise more than $265,000 for the Booster Club since the mid-1990’s.
Doug and his wife, Beth, have two children that have grown up playing in and working at the events. Keona is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a marketing degree and is a Supporter Relationship Manager at the Arbor Day Foundation. Kanon was the Omaha World Herald’s Nebraska High School Male Athlete of the Year in 2018. He was twice named 1st Team All Nebraska in basketball, and was 1st Team All Nebraska in football as quarterback of the Bearcats’ state runner-up team. Kanon, scored 463 points (16.5 ppg) for the University of Nebraska-Kearney, second most in school history by a freshman. Kanon has transferred to the University of South Dakota where he’ll sit out one season before having three years to play for the NCAA Division I Coyotes. Beth is an Accounting Assistant at Contryman Associates, P.C.