FARGO-Zach and Connor Kvalvog were always connected to the North Dakota State men's basketball program, mostly through watching games and being coached in the summer by former Bison great Ben Woodside. On Tuesday, the school made sure they'll always be part of the program.
The boys' parents, Ray and Kathie Kvalvog, were presented a jersey and a honorary letter of intent by Bison head coach Dave Richman. The Park Christian players were killed in an automobile accident last summer on their way to a basketball camp in Wisconsin.
"The two hardest-working kids I've ever trained," Woodside said. "Those boys were the definition of tough, hard-working, self-driven individuals. They were the type of young men you would go to war with on the basketball floor. I would have loved to be teammates with those guys. They had the right attitude, great personalities and were flat-out winners."
The jersey has the No. 2 to represent the two boys.
Richman said the private ceremony got a little emotional-"as you would expect," he said-but he said he was happy to help a family cope with the loss.
"I've come to understand with the title of head coach there comes certains platforms where you can help other people's lives and I think this is one," Richman said.