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WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 27, 2013, 06:23 PM

Athletes in the NSIC take a stand against drunk driving

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- It will be an emotional night on the basketball court at MSU-Moorhead tonight. The Dragon Men take on Southwest Minnesota State.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- It will be an emotional night on the basketball court at MSU-Moorhead tonight. The Dragon Men take on Southwest Minnesota State.

But beyond the 3-pointer and rebounds, a sobering message from the Coach of Southwest State and athletes all around the NSIC.

It is the opening of the NSIC tournament. For the first time in history, MSUM is hosting opening rounds of both men and women. And Mustang's men's coach Brad Bigler's return to the court here after a summer tragedy has has sparked teams all around the Midwest to share the message about the dangers of drinking and driving.

It would a drunk driver who would senselessly take the life of 5-month old Drake Bigler. The youngest child of SW Minnesota coach Brad Bigler. The loss would devastate the family and the NSIC sports community.

Coach Bigler and his loss have set the tone....urging athletes around our region to step up and make their own Public Service Announcements. MSU-Moorhead has. Basketball stand out Alex Novak took part in helping produce the video.

Alex Novak, MSUM Basketaball, "I think it was a great thing the conference did to address the issue and I hope a lot of people took it to heart."

The tragic loss of Bigler's baby boy sparked a movement across the coaching community. It changed all of them.

Chad Walthall, MSUM Basketball Coach, says, "I saw Brad on the road recruiting a week before it happened and we were both looking forward to getting home to see our families, because of the month long recruiting. He is a great person great family person it hits home when you have kids and re-enforces what you have to prioritize in life and I don't think any of us have gotten over this and the Bigler family never will get over something like that."

The Bigler story has attracted nation wide attention. ESPN is here tonight to get interviews and footage for a special it is doing.

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