From his days as Mr. Basketball playing high school basketball for the Williston Coyotes, Brian Qvale went on to a stellar four-year career at the University of Montana.

Being named the top hoopster in the state of North Dakota left him with many college options.

Now, at the age of 31, he finds himself entering another season playing professional basketball overseas.

He continues to work out at facilities near his home in Missoula, Montana after signing a contract to continue playing professional basketball in Japan for the Gunma Crane Thunders.

For Brian, this will be his 10th professional season, having also played for a team in Japan last season.

His new city is Maebashi and he tells us this location has something around 1.2 million people.

One thing is certain, Brian is excited about his new team and the rewards of a new contract.

“My kids will have international schools, we have a house and two cars. I think it could potentially be a perfect situation,” said Brian.

His new team is in what is considered to be 2nd Division play, but Brian points out, “they want to win the league and move up to the 1st Division.”

Reportedly ownership has done that by hiring a “really good” team, including a lot of 1st Division players from last season.


While Qvale is anxious to get to his team, the big problem on his plate is COVID-19, a virus that continues to cause problems for everybody.

“We aren’t even sure when or if we will be able to get into Japan,” said Qvale.

He told us, “I will go alone at first to make sure I can get there and get things set up.”

Qvale went on to say, “hopefully my family will be able to join, otherwise they will stay in America for this season.”

But, he asked folks to stay tuned, as things are changing every week.

Brian added, “I’m supposed to leave in early August, but nobody knows.”

“We will wait and see, either way I’m excited for my 10th season and what will happen in the future.”


While he returns to Japan for the second consecutive season, Brian knows a lot about making moves, when it comes to traveling.

His first professional season abroad was in Aliaga,Turkey that was followed by Mons, Belgium and Bayreuth, Germany.

Then came a stint with the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA), playing in the Summer League before working his way to Bursa, Turkey.

From Turkey it was off to Oldenburg, Germany for his sixth season, while visiting Krasnodar, Russia for another culture experience.

Bologna, Italy dots his resume, while last season Brian had a steady season for a team in Matsue, Japan.

This all leads up to the 10th go-round to Maebashi, Japan, once everything clears up.

Joining Brian in his journey includes his wife Misty, along with Linnea, 6, born in Bayreuth, Germany and Lachlan, 3, who was born in Oldenburg, Germany.


While Brian has many things to worry about, he is concerned about his younger brother.

“I’m waiting to see what happens with my brother (Brent) in Houston and the NFL season. I think Japan will do whatever they can to have a season to hopefully try and convince the world that they are capable of hosting the Olympics next summer.”

Brent signed a one-year contract with the Houston Texans after playing six seasons on the offensive line with the New York Jets.

His last season with the Jets was spent, for the most part, nursing an injury.

Pro action for Brent came after his high school career in Williston that led him to a college career at the University of Nebraska.

Now Brent and his wife Melisa, along with their new arrival daughter that they named Chandler, will have to settle in and adjust to conditions in Houston.


Much like his brother, Brent and his family is going through a wild period of time.

“Yeah crazy times right now for us, we’ve been in Houston for a week now. We started training camp a few days ago and so far things have been very smooth. The NFL’s Covid testing plan is very strict and everything seems to be working smooth,” said Brent.

Brent added, “we have a ramp up program over next couple weeks before we start full practice in mid-August to get ready for the regular season. Normally we would have been in full pads.”

While thinking football his new arrival is also on his mind.

“Little Chandler is already 4 1/2 months old and doing great! Starting to stretch out big time and did a great job in the car on our trip down here. It’s definitely a new experience playing with a child at home especially in this new environment we’re all dealing with,” concluded Brent.


This will be yet another exciting season for parents of Brian and Brent, as Carol and Sanford Qvale of Williston, will work to find a way to view and travel to as many games as possible.

You see, success on the athletic front is something that rubbed off on Brian and Brent as their father went from Ray High School and played as an offensive tackle with the famed North Dakota State University Bison.

Meanwhile, Carol was also an athlete, competing at the University of North Dakota-Williston before transferring to the University of North Dakota, where she played volleyball for one year before concentrating on her studies.


We send out a Scope Salute and Welcome Home to an area singer/songwriter, columnist and mother of two girls involved in ranching along with her husband Chad.

We speak of Jessie Veeder of Watford City, who has returned home following major surgery.

You can track down her personal story in a recent column as she takes you through her health struggles.

This is one tough young lady who wants to get back to a normal life, if there is such a thing these days.

We recall her early days as we hired Jessie, along with her father Gene, to perform on the stage of the Williston Sports & Recreation Show.

After years in college on the eastern edge, she made her way back home to be close to the family ranch, just outside of Watford City.


As of this writing the Minnesota Twins are off to a fast start in the American League Central Division.

With strong hitting, to go along with some mighty fine pitching, things are looking good.

But wait, two starters are now on the injured list, only adding pressure to the talented bullpen.

One thing about baseball, you need to play the final out to see how things shake out.

It should be fun to watch, if a 60-game schedule can be played without COVID-19 playing umpire.

Thomas A. Kvamme is a former resident and long time sports editor and columnist for the Herald. He can be reached at

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