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Junior Grand Am basketball tournament turns 25 this weekend

The Grand Forks Fastbreak Club’s Junior Grand Am basketball tournament turns 25 years old this weekend.

The event is showing no signs of aging, either.

A record number of teams will compete at venues in Greater Grand Forks this weekend, with teams coming from the Dakotas, Minnesota and Canada.

The Junior Grand Am drew 372 teams this year, up from 331 a year ago.

The Junior Grand Am is the largest youth basketball event in the state. The tournament is for boys and girls in grades three through high school.

“We thought last year’s record was close to the max,” said Jody Thompson, the Fastbreak Club president. “We have the capacity to go to 400 but we have to start looking at additional venues, which we can do.”

The tournament begins today and runs through Sunday.

Games will be played at nine venues — Valley Middle School, South Middle School, Red River High School, Central High School, the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, the UND Wellness Center; Hyslop Sports Center; The Alerus Center and Choice Wellness Center.

Championship games in the girls division will begin around 11 a.m. Saturday, while title games in the boys division are schedule to start at noon on Sunday.

During the three days, there are 643 games scheduled. The Valley Officials Association will provide referees, but other officials from the area also will be needed to meet the demand.

Also this year, the Fastbreak Club will present Brad and Gina Towers and Ken and Gloria Towers with the Youth Basketball Supporters of the Year award.

“The Towers have been long-time supporters of our tournament, and for that matter all sports in Grand Forks,” said Thompson. “We wanted to recognize that support with this award.”

The tournament also provides an economic boost to Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.

“There isn’t a motel room to be had in Greater Grand Forks this weekend,” said Thompson.

Schedules and results for the tournament can be found on

Wayne Nelson
Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
(701) 780-1268