Tom Bearson Night In Sartell

Tom Bearson Night In Sartell Click to Enlarge Photo: Matt Demczyk (KNSI)

(KNSI) - The Sartell community came together Thursday night to remember Tom Bearson, who was murdered just weeks into his freshman year at North Dakota State University in 2014.

Tom was a standout on the Sartell basketball team, and Thursday night's game against Brainerd was played in his honor with players wearing green (Tom's favorite color)"Tommy B Hoopin' In Heaven" shirts during warmups.

The shirts can be purchased with proceeds going to the Tom Bearson Foundation.

Most of the people in the packed stands could be seen wearing the green shirts and both Sartell and Brainerd teams wore the shirts during warmups and on the bench.

Sartell players held up Tom's #1 jersey as the National Anthem was played.

"Words can't express how much this means to us," said Greg Bearson, Tom's dad.

"It's such a humbling experience to see so many people come here to support our foundation and in memory of Tom."

Greg says, since Tom was such a team player, he's probably not overly thrilled that the event was all about him, but what he would be happy with is that two basketball teams got the chance to play in front of such a large crowd because that's what he loved when he played.

Tom was 18-years-old when he went missing on September 20th, 2014.

His body was found three days later at an RV park in Moorhead.

Greg makes it very clear that Tom's case is not a cold case.

"The Bearson family feels good about the effort that they're (investigators) putting forth, we still remain confident that there will be a resolution, the toughest part is just trying to be patient while they're working it."

Shortly after his death, Tom's parents, Greg and Debbie, started the Tom Bearson Foundation in honor of their son.

The foundation raised around $80,000 to remodel the St. Francis Xavier Elementary School gym in Sartell where Tom went to school as a kid.

A golf outing in Tom's honor is held in the summer at Blackberry Ridge Golf Club with the money raised going to the Tom Bearson Foundation.