Tom Bearson Memorial Courts Dedicated in Sartell [PHOTOS]
SARTELL (WJON News) -- A foundation honoring the legacy of a Sartell native brought its time to a close with the completion of a major project this weekend.
The Tom Bearson Memorial Basketball Courts were officially dedicated at a special ceremony at Pinecone Central Park in Sartell on Saturday.
Tom, a Sartell graduate and star basketball player, was killed in the fall of 2014 as a freshman attending North Dakota State University.
Sartell Mayor Ryan Fitzhum says the courts will keep Tom’s memory alive, and inspire the next generation of basketball players.
I can't help but recognize Tommy's own basketball hoop that's here today if you look over here. I had the distinct pleasure of growing up next to Tom and the Bearsons, and with the amount of hours that I personally saw Tom playing basketball and Greg trying to defend the hoop a little bit, it's awesome to see that as part of the dedication here.
Tom’s Dad, Greg Bearson says the completion of the project will allow the family to redirect their energy.
As we close our foundation with today's ceremony, I'm sure we'll always look back and be proud of what we've been able to accomplish together. This will now allow Debbie and myself more time to refocus our efforts on our family and justice for Tom that we know will come one day.
Bearson’s family started the Tom Bearson Foundation after his death and raised nearly $500,000 over the past nine years. All of that money was put back into the Sartell community including $225,000 for the courts at Pinecone Central Park.
In addition to the courts, the foundation held several “Hoopin in Heaven” events at Sartell High School to honor Tom’s love of basketball.
The courts opened back in October and have already been the site of several basketball tournaments.