On Friday, Jan. 25, the North Star Athletic Association will be participating in a conference-wide event in what it calls a H8althy Minds "Green Game."  In the midst of the basketball conference season, where all eight member schools play two conference games per weekend, all four home game sites of the men's and women's conference matchups will be participating in the event. Players will be supporting green H8althy Minds warm=up shirts, with #NorthStarStrong on the back.

The H8althy Minds "Green Game" is an event in conjunction with the recently developed BOSA "#NorthStarStrong" initiative, which focuses on mental health awareness. The initiative was developed and announced at the start of the new year by the Board of Student-Athletes, which started with the SAACs on each campus selling wristbands that supported the initiative.

Valley City State hosted the first H8althy Minds "Green Game" back during a volleyball matchup between the Vikings and Mayville State Comets. At the time, the #NorthStarStrong initiative was in the works, but not yet announced. The Board of Student-Athletes took on the "Green Game" idea, and are now excited to make it a conference-wide event, stressing the awareness around mental health.

Joell Ertl will be playing in the "Green Game" this weekend, and has also been involved in implementing the #NorthStarStrong initiative as a Mayville State BOSA Representative.

"The #NorthStarStrong movement is an awesome opportunity for the schools within the conference to come together as a collective unit to support something that is relevant in each athlete's life. Mental health is an issue that requires a unique platform such as this to possibly help those who are struggling from something of that nature. We may all play for different institutions, but at the end of the day, we are coming together to raise awareness for something much bigger than the game," Ertl states.

The conference match-ups on Friday, Jan. 25, include Dakota State at Viterbo, Presentation at Valley City State, Dickinson State at Mayville State, and Bellevue at Waldorf. It is encouraged that all student-athletes, administration, and fans wear green on their campus and at the games in support of the initiative. If you are on social media, feel free to share your green-themed #NorthStarStrong support by tweeting at the BOSA's twitter, @NorthStarBOSA, or by using the hashtag #NorthStarStrong.