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March Madness: Farmers & Fadeaways

It’s that time of year! March Madness energizes sports enthusiasts with the excitement of the NCAA basketball tournament. Farmers are among those who follow their favorite teams and were former basketball players.

Some support their college alma mater or a team that has been their forever favorite in hopes of making it to the final four.

The timing of March Madness also fits with farmers’ schedules with tournament play occurring throughout the month, prior to spring planting.

Featured are some local farmers who are former basketball players and continue to be basketball enthusiasts.

Nolan Govig

Age: 21
Basketball teams you played on: Indian Creek High School, Rockford Five-O (AAU), Sauk Valley Community College
Best basketball team memory: Back-to-back 20 win seasons at Sauk Valley
Favorite basketball teams: Indian Creek High School, University of Illinois, Chicago Bulls
Do you still play basketball? I play for fun with friends, but also I’m the
varsity boys coach at Indian Creek High School.
Do you have a basketball hoop on the farm? Yes
Farm: Govig Farms, Malta

Garrison Govig

Age: 25
Basketball teams you played on: Indian Creek High School, Illinois Ambush (AAU).
Best basketball team memory: Winning regionals in 2014 at Indian Creek
Favorite basketball teams: University of Illinois & North Carolina
Do you still play basketball? Only in the driveway with family
Do you have a basketball hoop on the farm? Yes
Farm: Govig Farms, Malta

Jim Govig

Age: 57
Basketball Team you played on: Shabbona High School
Favorite basketball teams: University of Illinois, Kansas, Iowa State
Do you still play basketball? No
Do you have a basketball hoop on the farm? Yes
Farm: Govig Farms, Malta

Brittany (Bock) Richey

Age: 34
Basketball team you played on: Indian Creek Girl’s Basketball/2001-04
Best basketball team memory: In 8th grade, our team had a basketball lock-in in the gym where we ordered in pizza, and stayed up all night scrimmaging and dancing.
Favorite basketball team: Indian Creek Basketball (Now I get to watch my niece play as a Lady Timberwolf!)
Do you still play basketball? Just for fun
Do you have a basketball hoop on the farm? Yes
Farm: Honey Hill Orchard, Waterman

Dave Schafer

Age: 52
Basketball teams you played on: Malta High School, Kishwaukee College, Upper Iowa University, DeKalb County Farm Bureau
Best basketball team memory: When I was at Upper Iowa University and we beat Wartburg, which won the Iowa Conference that year.
Favorite basketball teams: I enjoy watching local teams like DeKalb High School and NIU. I also enjoy watching University of Illinois.
Do you still play basketball? I no longer play but wish I could.
Do you have a basketball hoop on the farm? Yes
Farm: Schafer Farms, Malta

Greg Fleming

Age: 57
Basketball teams you played on: Lee Grade School, Shabbona High School, travel teams
Favorite basketball teams: I have been a Bobby Knight fan since I was in grade school so I have a loyalty to Indiana Basketball, but definitely Big 10 basketball.
Do you still play basketball? I look forward to family get-togethers so I can shoot
around with my kids and niece and nephews.
Do you have a basketball hoop on the farm? Everyone in the family has a hoop in their yard, including in our shop, where I did most of my practicing.
Farm: Fleming Farms, Shabbona

Jake Wright

Age: 26
Basketball teams you played on: Miami Ohio/2015-18, UW Milwaukee/2018-19
Best basketball team memory: Scoring my 1,000th point my senior year
Favorite basketball teams: The teams I played for as well as Maryland because my brother Simon plays there. I love college basketball and March Madness.
Do you still play basketball? Yes, I play pickup games with friends.
Do you have a basketball hoop on the farm? Yes, with a half court in our shed.
Farm: Bemis Farms, DeKalb