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Basketball teams invited to youth state championships

All North Dakota youth basketball teams in fifth to ninth grade are invited to participate in the North Dakota Youth Basketball Championships at the University of North Dakota's Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks on April 9-10.

The event is hosted by Pacesetter Sports as part of a four-state series of state play offs that lead to the Great Four-State Championships at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The top two teams from Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota in each age/gender division are invited to play in the eight-team "Great State" championship.

Last year was the first year for the Great State playoffs, which resulted in three Great State championships for North Dakota: the New Town eighth-grade girls, the Bismarck seventh-grade girls, and the Four Winds fifth-grade boys all claimed Great State championships as the best team in four states.

Minnesota and South Dakota each won three titles, and Iowa won one championship.

Each team will play three-four games in one day in the North Dakota state tournament, with the boys playing Saturday and the girls playing Sunday. Each age/gender division is limited to the first 16 teams to enter. Teams are not divided by class or size of school enrollment.

All players on a team must either attend the same school or live in the same school district, with one exception: smaller schools may combine as long as the combined enrollment of their high schools does not exceed 400 students for ninth-12th grade.

The NBA Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA Minnesota Lynx, which both play home games at the Target Center, are sponsoring this Great State playoff system. The Timberwolves are offering every player a free ticket to a 2011-2012 game, and the Lynx are sponsoring the Great State tournaments on Lynx game days and involving all teams in special fan experiences at the WNBA game.

Registration for the North Dakota Youth Basketball State Tournament is available on the Pacesetter website at, or by emailing for a registration form.

High school head coaches have also been sent registration materials.