On the Court with the NFL

By Beacon Staff

In a state that doesn’t have its own pro sports teams, it’s a big deal when NFL players come to town. Kids can sidle up for autographs during the annual Whitefish Winter Classic when top basketball players from the valley’s high schools form an all-star team to duke it out on the court with the NFL players.

The annual hoops war alternates between north valley high schools. This year, the All Star-Celebrity basketball game is scheduled for Friday, March 7, at 7 p.m. on the Columbia Falls High School court.

Kids can get autographs from players, such as Casey Fitzsimmons, Detroit Lions; Rick DeMulling, Washington Redskins; Tuff Harris, Miami Dolphins; Chad Clifton, Green Bay Packers; Jake Scott, Indianapolis Colts; Ed Mulitalo, Detroit Lions; Cory Procter, Dallas Cowboys; Justin Green, Baltimore Ravens; Troy Bienemann, Arizona Cardinals; Pat McQuistan, Dallas Cowboys; and Haloti Ngata, Baltimore Ravens. Retired players will also join the weekend events as well as All-American Grizzly Kroy Biermann.

Basketball game admission is free. But since the weekend is designed to raise funds to help local kids access medical care, donations are accepted.

You can also catch the NFL players at the free snow picnic on Saturday, Mar. 8. Just stop by Gray Wolf Run at Whitefish Mountain Resort to grab a burger while you’re skiing or snowmobiling.

Other weekend fundraisers include the VIP dinner and auction on March 8, 5:30 p.m., at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake. (Reservations: 406/862-8146) Sunday morning, local chefs create an all-you-can-eat champagne brunch at Whitefish Lake Restaurant at the golf course from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for kids. Sunday night, Wasabi Sushi Bar donates a portion of their proceeds to the Winter Classic.