|April 18, 2013
Florida Underwater Protoplasm Society Basketball Brawl sees another successful year
By Alyssa Nenemay
Jimmy Michel (Right) manages a pass in spite of his large opposition. Although the tournament has been running for 44 years, this was Michel’s fourth year participating. (Photo by Alyssa Nenemay)
CHARLO — The 44th Annual Fups Basketball Brawl tournament attracted over 30 teams from throughout Montana this past weekend marking the largest participation the event has ever seen. Fups (Florida Underwater Protoplasm Society) director Crystal Kain said this year also attracted the largest crowd of spectators and raised the highest scholarship funds to date.
The Fups Basketball Brawl began in 1969 when Charlo’s basketball team wanted to purchase new uniforms that featured their numbers on the back. Four founders, including Rick Knudsen, hosted the tournament to raise money for uniforms and now Fups is the longest running town team tournament in the Montana; all proceeds going to scholarships for Charlo High School seniors.
Men’s A team Tire Depot took on Missoula during the Fups Basketball Brawl tournament. Tire Depot was one of three teams sponsored by the tire company’s owner Vern Reum. (Photo by Alyssa Nenemay)
This was Kain’s second year as tournament director and she took an opportunity to share a highlight on the Men’s B Championship game between the local Courtside Soldiers, which was made up of Two Eagle River School students, and Venture Stone, which was a team out of Great Falls:
Thomas Spotted Eagle (center) brawls for the ball during the tournament. Director Crystal Kain said: “People don’t care who wins or loses but are more concerned with the process…” (Photo by Alyssa Nenemay)
“Court Soldiers were up 69-64 with about eight seconds on the clock. Venture Stone inbounds, dribbles to the center circle (which is worth five points in the Fups Brawl) and is fouled launching. Don Jacobs is at the free-throw line with three seconds on the clock to tie the game. The local crowd is ecstatic, cheering for the hometown boys Court Soldiers. Don Jacobs of Venture Stone couldn’t handle the pressure and goes 1-5 on his free throws to take second to the Court Soldiers out of Pablo,” she said.
Joe Stevens goes in for a shot as teammate Zanen Pitts has his back. One of the goals of the Fups Basketball Brawl is “reconnecting friends and like-minded athletes.” (Photo by Alyssa Nenemay)
Another notable highlight Kain said was Tire Depot owner Vern Reum, who sponsored a team in three different divisions. Reum also suited up and played for two of the teams, making him the oldest Fups Brawler this year.
With another successful year down, Kain said there is much to reflect on with the Fups Tournament. “ It has developed into something more than a basketball tournament. People don’t care who wins or loses but are more concerned with the process, the camaraderie among the players and fans and the opportunity to have an annual reunion,” she said.
|Winners of the Fups Brawl Basketball Tournament|
1st- 2 Hard 2 Swallow
2nd- TIny’s Fups
Toilet Bowl Champion:
Ronan Body Shop
1st- Lady Fups
3rd- 2 Hard 2 Swallow
FUP Cup Winner:
Esterby family & Tiny’s Tavern teams. (Fup Cup is awarded for sportsmanship, fun, style, camaraderie and positive contribution to the outcome of the tournament.)