CRYSTAL FALLS, Mich. (WJMN) – Last Friday night, the Forest Park community joined together to honor Mark Nylund.

He was a fierce competitor on the court, but it was his dedication off of it that was special.

“Mark was genuine, fun, always wanting to help in any way that he could and just easy to love,” said Jackie Giuliani, Mark’s niece, and the event organizer.

It was always in Mark Nylund’s nature to set his teammates up for success.

Photo Courtesy:
Jackie Giuliani

“He was super, super unselfish,” said Andy Kopf, Mark’s close friend, teammate, and 1,000 point club member. “He could have scored when he wanted to also, but he could pass you the ball. He would run down and he would call a play for you. He would say, ‘Hey, I think I can get the ball to you, do this.’ You would do it and sure enough, the ball would come to you.”

“He was scrawny when he was in high school, so he was the little guard,” said Giuliani. “But he knew how to get the assists to the big guys and he played hard just like his daughter Abby and son Max did. Because of that, he was a good athlete. “

His dedication extended far beyond the court.

“So mark was a huge member of the forest park community,” said Giuliani. “He was involved with our football teams, our basketball teams, he was the trainer whenever somebody went down or got hurt, they looked for him all the time. He would see students before work, after work to get them treatment that they needed so they could be as healthy as possible to get on the field. But he also was just a super fan, and super dad, and a great uncle to me and my kids. So, he just was one of those men that were gone too soon.”

Nylund remained dedicated to the Forest Park community until his passing in 2020.

“When he passed away we wanted to figure out what we could do to honor him in his memory for all the things he did for Forest Park as the athletic trainer and physical therapist that helped our team for so many years,” said Giuliani. “We thought that this was the perfect way to be able to do that.

The school created the 1,000 point club to honor the top basketball student-athletes.

Members of the Mark Nylund Memorial 1,000 Point Club.

“The reason I’m here scoring those points was because of all those passes he made to me,” said Kopf. “Otherwise, obviously, I wouldn’t be here right now.”

“I think one of the coolest things was to let our athletes right now look across the court and see the athletes that scored 1,000 points and the achievements that they made,” said Giuliani. “To show our athletes that it’s possible for them to do the same thing if they work hard.”

Supporting the names on the wall was a way for him to continue assisting other athletes.

“He didn’t score 1,000 points, so it wasn’t about himself,” said Kopf. “It was about his teammates and everybody else that he played with and for. So, he just wanted the people to be recognized, the kids to be recognized. So, yeah it’s a pretty big event for Crystal Falls.”

Photo Courtesy:
Jackie Giuliani

Because of his contributions on and off the court, Mark Nylund’s name now hangs above those he helped on the wall of the gymnasium.

“He definitely brought me to the gym,” said Abby Nylund, Mark’s daughter and member of the 1,000 point club. “Probably every single weekend, every day just to practice. We practiced in our driveway all the time. I don’t know it was just something we did together so that just helped me grow the love for it.”

A lasting tribute for former teammates, student-athletes, and the wall’s newest member, Abby Nylund, Mark’s Daughter.

“So proud,” said Nylund. “I don’t know, I can tell he’s just smiling down right now. He wanted this so bad. He wanted everyone to be recognized for this huge achievement. So, I’m sure he’s just so proud right now and so am I.”

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