'I believe he was here tonight': Denmark teen heads to State, years after father died at tournament

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - “I don’t really have too many words,” senior guard Brady Jens said, through tear-filled eyes.

For the first time since 1985, the Denmark Boys Basketball team is headed to state, after outlasting Freedom 46-41 in the WIAA Division 3 Sectional Finals. But with this win, comes a wealth of emotion for the 17-year-old.

"Back in seventh grade, my dad passed away at the State Tournament. I believe he was here tonight," Jens said Saturday after the game.

Jens' father died after a heart attack in 2014, at a seventh grade State Tournament game in La Crosse.

"I don't want to give too much about me but I've been through a lot … and these guys have been here with me since basically seventh grade so I love these guys," Jens said.

Jens’ jersey doubled as a tissue for his tears, as Denmark players and fans lined up to congratulate and hug him after the game.

Denmark will play Waupun on Thursday, March 14 at 3:15 p.m.