Mother of Henning basketball player who died in 2017 car accident supporting his teammates at state tournament
MINNEAPOLIS — Angela Quam had not opened the door to her son's bedroom since he died in a head-on collision with a semitruck in April of 2017. Besides washing his sheets and blanket from his bed she has not touched anything in his room.
It's a room filled with basketball trophies and jerseys from his time in Delano, Minn., and Henning, Minn. Jacob Quam was a 6-foot-3 sophomore basketball player when he died. He'd be a senior and a captain on the Henning boys basketball team currently playing in the Minnesota Class 1A state tournament had he not been killed in that car accident on the way to the weight room at Henning High School.
The morning of the Class 1A, Section 6 championship game between Henning and Parkers Prairie last week, Angela decided to open the door to Jacob's bedroom. She said, "Jacob, you gotta come out and play today."
Henning trailed by eight with 4 minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the section championship game against Parkers Prairie, the only team to beat the Hornets this season. They capped the game with a 16-6 run for a 60-58 win and booked their first trip to the state tournament since 1966. Angela was in the crowd. She saw Jacob's former teammate and best friend Dylan Trana, carry a No. 33 orange Henning jersey up on a hanger to have a section championship medal put around it. No. 33 was Jacob's number.
"It's pretty amazing," Angela said. "I just keep thinking it's not even about me. It's about these boys and how they've bonded together and helped each other out in a tragedy and supported each other and healed each other."
Jacob had always said that orange jerseys would be cool for Henning. Angela had them made after he died. Henning is wearing the orange jerseys at the state tournament.
"This is their time to shine," Angela said. "I know Jacob is looking down on them with a smile and with plenty of love."
Angela is in the crowd at Williams Arena for the state tournament. She's wearing a necklace with Jacob's thumb print around her neck, exactly where it's been all season.
"I've had a lot of tears the last few days," Angela said. "I wake up at 3 a.m. and cry for a couple hours. But this whole thing has been remarkable."
She says the players on Henning still come over to her house and raid her refrigerator just as they used to when Jacob was alive. She said it's worth the grocery bill.
"I can't see him and they can't see him, but everybody acts like he's still there," Angela said. "It's so uplifting to know that all these people are in support of me and Jacob. I've always been worried that people will forget about Jacob. They're really not going to."