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Published July 14 2011

With trailer: Movie relives historic season for Perham boys basketball following collapse of Zach Gabbard

PERHAM, Minn. - A summer job at a restaurant means Mark Schumacher has to answer dozens of questions.

The one he’s been asked most this summer has been if he’s a member of the Perham boys basketball team.

After today, however, customers could ask him, “Was he the guy in the movie about the Perham basketball team?”

“You tell different people different things about our season,” said Schumacher, who was a center on the team last season. “Now I can tell people they can go watch the movie.”

Schumacher and his teammates are the subject of a new movie titled “For Three,” which looks back at the 2010-11 season for basketball team.

The 100-minute movie debuts tonight at 7 and again at 9:30 at the Comet Theatre in Perham.

Its focus is on Perham’s season and how it managed to win the first state title in school history following the collapse of guard and star player Zach Gabbard.

Gabbard, who survived the incident, went into cardiac arrest during a game at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.

The movie title comes from the team’s rallying cries for Gabbard, who wore the No. 3.

Perham assistant coach Brett Hanson, who directed the movie, said there is a video clip from the game where Gabbard collapsed,

but the clip just shows that something happened.

Hanson said the actual footage from the game was destroyed immediately after Gabbard’s collapse.

“What’s in the movie and how we captured it is done as tastefully as possible,” said Hanson, who has had two cardiac arrests in his life. “You can’t tiptoe around the fact we had a cardiac arrest in front of us and how horrific it was.”

Perham overcame the tragedy to go 31-1 and win the Minnesota Class 2A state basketball title.

Gabbard was at Perham’s first two tournament games in Minneapolis. He received a standing ovation at both.

He was recently transferred from a hospital in the Twin Cities to his home in Perham, where he’s been doing rehabilitation work.

Hanson, who has been an assistant coach for eight seasons, always did a highlight tape for each player on the team.

But after the team was welcomed home by 900 people following the state title game, he decided to do a movie.

Hanson went through a season’s worth of game footage and mixed in news clips along with interviews from players and coaches.

“I just hope the thing people can take from it is them witnessing that they can never give up,” said team captain Jordan Bruhn. “That’s what I hope they are going to get out of it.”

Bruhn, Hanson and Schumacher each said the basketball team will watch the movie together at the first showing of the film.

Aside from reliving the most historic and memorable season in team history, it also gave Hanson a chance to try his hand at movie-making, as this was the first film he’s ever done.

Hanson learned sharing a story isn’t easy.

He had to contact different music companies to gain the rights to use songs in the movie.

The companies gave the OK for the music to be used, which will also serve as a dual fundraiser for Gabbard’s medical costs and Perham’s basketball team.

“What I wanted to have is something these kids could show their kids 20 years from now,” Hanson said. “What we went through was the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. I wanted it to also be a keepsake for the community. It’s the biggest thing that’ll happen in Perham for a long time.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548. Clark’s Force blog can be found at http://slightlychilled.areavoices.com.