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USD Sculpture Student Designs NBA All-Star Trophy

Tasha Determan photo Tasha Determan designed the Taco Bell Skills Challenge trophy for the NBA all-star weekend.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Tasha Determan, a University of South Dakota freshman studying sculpture from Alexandria, South Dakota, was selected to design the Taco Bell Skills Challenge trophy for NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana, hosted Feb. 18-19.

“It feels good. It verifies that I’m in the right field and I’m doing what I love,” said Determan, a 2016 Hanson High School graduate.

Tasked with designing a trophy that represented the New Orleans area, Determan took inspiration from the Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis incorporating part of the ironwork design on the column. The trophy is topped with a basketball.

After the skills challenge, Determan was invited to center-court to present the award to winner, Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks.

Determan, who plans to pursue an MFA, said she was encouraged by the experience.

“It was cool. When you put yourself out there, a huge amount of people will support you,” said Determan.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.