Remembering Ryan Stowers; Northwestern 3-on-3 tournament dedicated to memory of Poplar athleteThe following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by award-winning Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in The Superior Telegram.
By: By Mike Granlund, For the Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
Ryan Stowers loved basketball. And Ryan Stowers was very good at playing basketball.
As a member of the Poplar Wolves traveling team, Ryan was an outstanding ball handler and sharpshooter for Coach Kevin Orme.
Ryan’s love for basketball came naturally. His father, Mike Stowers, is a native of basketball-rich Indiana and has been a volunteer youth coach in Poplar for many years. Ryan’s mom, Jacqe, is married to Mike Phillips, a longtime area hoopster who is an instrumental organizer of the Tony G 3-on-3 held annually at UW-Superior.
Ryan completed eighth grade last year and had dreams of playing for the Northwestern Tigers. Most thought it was just a matter of time before he became a big part of the varsity program.
Those dreams ended on a summer day last August when a tragic accident took Ryan from this world. Family, teammates and friends were stunned by the loss of such an talented, intelligent and thoughtful young man.
An emotional celebration of Ryan’s life gave the community a chance to pay respects to Ryan and show the family support during a time of great sorrow. Hearts continue to ache since that fateful day, but the knowledge that Ryan is in a better place serves as a temporary respite from the anguish of his absence.
In an effort to keep the memory of Ryan alive, the 18th annual Northwestern 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament this weekend in Maple will be dedicated to the memory of Ryan Stowers.
Ryan enjoyed playing in the tournament, as he usually got together with his younger brother, Riley, and Alex Tecker, Steve Kastern and Logan Moreau to form a team. They definitely were competitive, but more than that, they were having a good time with the game they loved.
Northwestern 3-on-3 Tournament T-shirts and medals will have “Remember Ryan Stowers” printed on them in a tribute to the fallen athlete. Proceeds from the tournament help fund the Poplar Wolves Youth Basketball teams, which include players from fifth grade through high school. Action takes place Saturday and Sunday at Northwestern High School, and the public is invited.
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