SHS holds the 5th Tommy B. – Hoopin’ in Heaven event


Stacey Lantis

Sartell High School basketball fans show off signs in support of the foundation

Just a short five years ago, local Sartell alum Tom Bearson, was killed in Fargo, MN.  To honor his memory, the Tom Bearson Foundation holds a basketball event at Sartell High School every year.  This year it was held on December 20th; many current students attended as it was the first night of winter break and many alumni were able to be there since colleges were also out on break.

The game this year was against Willmar.  It was a boys’ and girls’ double header. The girls’ game was hard fought by the Sabres, but they fell short with the final score at 52-34. Gretta Mahowald led all scorers for the team with 10 points. In the boys’ game, they jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The final score was 75-47. Dominic Hagy led the team with an astounding 32 points.

The Minnesota Timberwolves NBA High Flying Dunk Team provided entertainment in between the two games.  The Timberwolves mascot Crunch was also on hand to dunk and get the crowd pumped up. The Timberwolves provided autographs and free photo opportunities after the show.

Social studies teacher and SAYBA board member, Ms. Traver, had some great things to share about the evening’s events.

It’s a great way to showcase our supportive community through a game that was loved by Tom and still inspires us today!”

— Mrs. Traver


The Tom Bearson Foundation sold apparel, raffle tickets, and handed out fun, free items.  Tom Bearson’s parents were at the event.  They thanked the crowd for their support and attendance, and also thanked the Willmar Cardinals for participating for the second time in this yearly event.

SAYBA (Sartell Area Youth Basketball Association) entertained the crowd with a scrimmage at half-time during the boys’ game.

While normally Sabre crowds are a sea of blue and white, on this particular evening lime green was the overall color scheme.  Both Wilmar and Sartell coaches, players, and spectators wore their lime green shirts to support the Foundation.

Screen shot from
This is a screen shot from the Tom Bearson Foundation website.


The Tom Bearson Foundation has done so much to help the local Sartell community.  First and foremost, a lot of the money they raise goes to scholarships.  They have two: the Spirit Award and the Scholarship Program.  The Spirit Award recognizes achievements, perseverance, and positive spirit put forth by student athletes from the local 5-school area.  The Scholarship Program scholarships recognize athletes who exemplify dedication and effort.

The Foundation also supports local Sartell basketball programs because one of Tommy’s passions was basketball.  From the Sartell High School’s boys’ & girls’ basketball teams to the Sartell Area Youth Basketball Association to the St. Francis Gymnasium project, the Foundation has provided for them over $100,000.