The Sartell community turned out in droves to support Tom Bearson, a former student who passed away in September of 2014 while at college in North Dakota. "Hoopin' for Tommy B" night was held at Sartell High School Friday night in conjunction with the night's boys basketball game against ROCORI.

The Tommy B Foundation printed about 400 neon green shirts to sell to fans at the game, with proceeds going to charity. The shirts sold out by halftime of the
junior varsity game around 6:30 p.m.

The Sabres came out wearing the neon green shirts, tapping a Bearson jersey that was hung near the entrance to the court.

Dave Overlund
Dave Overlund

In an amazing show of sportsmanship and support, the ROCORI Spartans wore the green Bearson shirts onto the court, as well as on the bench during the game.

There was a 50/50 raffle to support the foundation, and over $500 ended up in the pot by the time the winning number was called at halftime of the varsity game. The winner of the raffle immediately gave his half back to the Bearson Foundation to raucous applause.

The Sabres student section was fantastic all night long, filling up their half of the bleachers while chanting and supporting their team, staying positive even when their team trailed by 15 points in the second half.


The Alexandria Aces, a youth basketball program that performs various tricks such as doing somersaults while spinning a basketball on their finger, performed at halftime. The students were very energetic, encouraging and fun, clearly making the young performers very proud.

The Sabres basketball team showed great resilience, clawing their way back from the big deficit to get within two points of a very good Spartans team. Although they came up short in a 77-70 loss, it is an effort that they should be very proud of and know that Tom Bearson would have been loving the positive atmosphere of the gym.


After the game Greg and Debbi Bearson accepted a framed jersey, a white Sabres uni with Tom's #1. Greg addressed the crowd, gathering his emotions as best he could in a gym filled with few dry eyes.

"I don't know how we got so lucky to end up in such a wonderful community as Sartell," Bearson said. "God bless you all."

More From AM 1240 WJON