Markus' Legacy Will Live On
Markus Bryant was a strong young man battling a severe bout with cancer of the nervous system. Like many young kids growing up in Grand Forks Markus was an avid Sioux fan and enjoyed watching games and visiting with his favorite players. During the 2001 Fighting Sioux Football season, Markus became an inspiration to the team by demonstrating his courage and unending faith by coming to practices even if it meant in his wheelchair immediately after a treatment. Markus would routinely lead the post-workout breakdown and spent a number of days during the 2001 season with the Sioux on game day. Markus also frequently wrote letters of encouragement to fire up his favorite team. One hand written note in particular touched the team after the season’s only loss as one strong statement within it said, ‘never give up’. The encouraging words in that note helped propel the team to winning the final 6 games of the season. On December 8th 2001, the team together with Markus made its way down to Florence Alabama, and won the 2001 Division II National Crown. As the team was celebrating on the podium at midfield, Markus was invited to share in lifting the trophy skyward in front of the cheering crowd.
During the 2002 season, tough times hit the Sioux Football team as they suffered a tough season enduring frustrating loses. Despite this, Markus continued his support, once again writing letters of encouragement and showing up to games when he was able. At the end of the season, the outgoing senior class was looking to leave a legacy and a positive impact within the program and Grand Forks, and not surprisingly Markus came to mind. Beginning on Nov. 17th 2002 a fundraiser was started to give back to young children like Markus who are battling serious illness and show courage in their everyday lives. The name of this fundraiser is called “Holiday Magic From Markus”, and is set up to raise money to go towards the purchase of Holiday gifts for the area children who are going to spend the winter Holidays in the hospital, or who are fighting these serious illnesses over the Holidays. The mission of this organization is to allow student athletes at UND a chance to impact a community and make a difference in the lives of area children.
"Never Give Up"
Changing Lives Just as Markus Changed Ours
Lastly, an athletic endowment fund was started to aid in a scholarship for a Fighting Hawks football player each season.
It is evident why we recognize Markus as the 12th Man of the Fighting Hawks football program and why our passionate efforts of building a legacy of commitment, teamwork and perseverance within the program and the community, is of such importance.
Markus’ legacy will live on forever.