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Sportsline; Apollo basketball star puts family ahead of career

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St.?Cloud Apollo basketball star Ibrahim Abukar has again put his family ahead of his cage career.

Abukar, a four-year regular at Apollo, drew notice last spring when he led his Eagles to the state tournament, then underwent surgery one day before that meet to give a bone marrow transplant to his younger sister Zam Zam to save her in her battle with leukemia. She is recovering at home.

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He returned to the court for the state game which Apollo lost in overtime to Orono, the eventual state champion.

He was believed headed to Moorhead for a college career before pulling out of that move to remain home to be nearer to his family.

He plans to attend St. Cloud State or Technical College this year but will not play basketball.

He does not rule out, however, returning to the court in coming years.

Apollo reached the state for the first time in 38 years last year and Abukar ended his career with 1,086 points, fifth on the all-time Apollo scoring list. He also ended second in career assists and fourth in steals.

He has been told by the St. Cloud Huskies that they have no room for a walk-on.

Abukar's four starting companions from Apollo are all set for college ball.

Simon Krych, the 6-9 center, is going to Division-I Nebraska-Omaha. Blake Maslonkowski, the 6-5 forward, will play at Mary while 6-7 forward Ryan Tesch heads to Ridgewater CC and 6-1 guard Derek Steve will play at St. Scholastica.

Hawley gained the state American Legion baseball tournament this summer for the first time since 1928 when it was still a one-division event.

Hawley played in the Division-II tournament at Ely but left after two games, bowing to Luverne and Kenyon, both by 7-6 margins.

Eden Valley-Watkins took the crown beating Ely 15-3 in the final. Ely had won over Kenyon and Luverne to reach the final.

Marble went 0-2 losing to Eden Valley and Holdingford, the District 6 winner. Holdingford took the consolation title over Kenyon.

The new Bemidji city softball fields were used for the first time last weekend hosting the Lumberjack Classic, a north region recreational senior meet.

Ten teams, two from Canada, inaugurated the new complex and weathered wet conditions Saturday to complete the meet without a delay. Foltz Buildings took the Gold Division title at 6-0.

The Silver Division went to the Minnesota Masters 60's Red.

The Lumberjacks Division was won by the Minnesota Lumberjacks 65's while Charleswood Prime Time took the Canadian Division title.

The meet revived an event that was played at Walker from 2005-09.

Three tournaments remain on the circuit at Edina, Rochester and Omaha, Neb.

Signups are continuing for the newly organized Bemidji grade 3-5 tackle football league.

Games will be played at the Boys & Girls Club fields starting later this month and running nine weeks, including playoffs. Practices and games will begin at 4 p.m. with busing to the field from the elementary schools in the city. Schedules are available on the league website, bemidjiyouthfootball.com. Registration will close Aug. 15.

Eden Prairie successfully defended its state American Legion Division-I title Monday when the championship game with Lino Lakes was rained out.

Both teams advanced to play at the Central Plains regional at Dickinson, N.D. where Eden Prairie won its first 6-0 start while Lino Lakes fell 6-5.

Eden Prairie captured the top spot in the final weekly poll with 135 points to 124 for Burnsville and Eastview. Maplewood and Bemidji rounded out the top five, the top finish for Bemidji in history. Fergus Falls was eighth.

All 16 state tournament teams were in the top 22, that spot held by Sauk Rapids.

All Bemidji High School athletes planning to play on the eight fall teams must attend Wednesday's 6 p.m. parent-athlete meeting session with a parent or guardian.

Rules and regulations for the coming year will be explained at the general meeting with most teams separating after the general session for individual gatherings.

Eligibility forms will be available at the session and must be returned together with activity fees prior to the start of practice.

Any athlete needing to take a physical, required every three years, must have taken and passed them and filed papers before being permitted to practice Almost all of the eight fall units are expected to start practicing Aug. 15.

Bemidji's 13 and 14-year-old Babe Ruth teams bowed out in state playoff action last week.

The 13's lost to Brooklyn Area 7-3 and Richfield 9-6 to end their year at 21-12.

The East Twins took the title 6-2 over Brooklyn. Moorhead finished third and Baxter fourth.

The 14's dropped their opener to Minnetonka 12-5, beat Moorhead 8-7 but were eliminated by Waite Park 5-0. They ended 9-7 in games reported this summer.

Hi Tower beat Minnetonka 20-6 in the title game. The East Twins were third and Waite Park fourth.

Both Bemidji teams advanced to state unopposed, the only teams in the district.

Warroad took the Cal Ripken 12-year-old state intact league title 2-1 over Fergus Falls. Roseau was third and Thief River fourth.

The East Twins won the 12-year-old All-Star team regional with an 8-0 decision over Baxter. Both finalists came out of Bemidji's district where the same pair met for that title, the East Twins winning 7-0. Bemidji fell to Baxter and Park Rapids in district play.

Park Rapids claimed the 15-year-old Babe Ruth district meet with wins over Blackduck 3-0, Nevis 12-0 and Staples 9-1. The Bemidji Lions and Walker also competed in the eight-team event. With Nevis and Blackduck they were the four Bemidji Intact League qualifiers. Park Rapids was the Heartland League champ.

Grand Rapids and Morris are the first known entrants in this week's state VFW tournament at Bemidji. The Rapids won four straight, taking the title from Duluth Ordean 17-1.

Morris shaded Alexandria 9-8 in the District 5 final.

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