29th Shada tourney a big success—organizers already setting sights on 30th anniversary in 2023

At tournament headquarters, three of the “kingpins” of the famous Shada three-on-three basketball tournament: Doug Bruggeman, son Ryan Bruggeman, and Dave Rund.

The 29th Pelican Rapids Shada 3-on-3 basketball tournament was a huge success—following a COVID pandemic cancellation in 2020; and a 2021 delay to August.

But 2022 marked a triumphant return to the traditional June schedule—with 220 teams competing over the three-day period.

The tournament, one of the top events of its kind in the upper midwest, has continued to help put the Pelican lakes area on the map. 

Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the Shada, and event organizers Dave Rund and Doug Bruggeman hope to make it even more special. 

“The hope is we work with the community to have a little more of a celebration of the event,” said Bruggeman, peering ahead to 2023. “One thing that we want to do is host a street dance type event.” 

On the 25th anniversary, Shada hosted a successful street dance in collaboration with the community. 

The dates for the 2023 Shada will be June 9-11.

With fans, families, and entourages—the Shada attracts thousands to town, and the greater lakes area.

Among the many elementary school-age teams during Friday’s action, this squad of Pelican area youth, under coach Tyler Honrud. The foursome is Ben Honrud, Griffin Welch, Zane Schulte, and Coltan Tweeton.
It takes dozens of volunteers to orchestrate a tournament the size of Shada. So, all hands on deck includes available coaches, parents, concession operators, and even the superintendent of schools. Brian Korf served as a referee during the Friday youth play, shown here outlining the ground rules with the opposing players.

Almost 300 games of basketball were played on Friday alone, for the elementary division. The day starts at 8 a.m. and goes until 9:30 that evening.

Teams travel from throughout Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. Name a town in the entire length of the Red River Valley, and there was probably at least one team representing the community. Twin Valley, Hawley, West Fargo, Ada, Fargo—and numerous teams from Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, and the greater Otter Tail-Becker County lakes area. 

On Saturday, June 11, junior high to post-high male and female divisions took to the ten half courts in the Pelican Rapids High School and Elementary, and over 230 games were played starting at 8:00 a.m. again and going until 6 p.m.

Sunday is championship Sunday for the male divisions, where the teams got seeded into a single elimination tournament based on their wins and losses on Saturday. 

Around 125 games of three-on-three were played on Sunday.

The Shada tournament was back in “pre-COVID” form June 10-12, as three gymnasiums full of all basketball, all the time, drew thousands of young players, families, and fans to the community. Pictured, action in the new Pelican “Leaders” gym.

The college division is always fun to watch as current and former Division 1 and Division 2 college-level athletes square off against each other, noted Bruggeman. Minnesota State University-Moorhead Dragon players and alum are always super competitive in this division. 

Concordia Cobbers made a solid showing in this event also. 

The College championship was won by a hometown boy, and his teammates as the team “Stranger Things,” consisting of Ryan Bruggeman, Nate Rund, Mitch Plumbon, and Joey Bartlet, walked away with the championship hardware.

Shada has become a great event for Pelican Rapids alums to get together. “We always have a strong showing of PRHS alumni participating in the post high men’s division.,” noted Bruggeman.