February 3rd, 1982
The incident began when Indiana Tech’s Nancy Rehm (20 years old) and her two teammates (Coldwater’s Joan Wenning and Rhonda Unverferth) were ticketed by a police officer for riding their snowmobiles on Ft. Wayne city streets, so they called Nancy’s dad, Thomas to come and pick them up. As the three waited, two brothers (Arnold and Mark Mauricio) wearing ski masks approached them and demanded the snowmobiles, but they refused to give into the threats. That’s when Mark Mauricio fired three shots into a snowbank, the women would back away. But as Mauricio and his brother sped off in opposite directions, the three players would try and chase them down. As Rehm closed in one of the snowmobiles, Mauricio turned and fired, the bullet striking and killing her.
Nancy’s Coach at Bishop Luers, Kirk Kavanaugh, reflected after the killing took place:
“She was a legend around here. It is like a part of Fort Wayne died.”
Former Coldwater (Ohio) star Joan Wenning Gilliand was a teammate and roommate of Rehm and was a witness to the killing:
Nancy was a hard fought player and a fantastic person to be around on and off the floor. As a player you always knew if you worked hard enough to get open she was going to get you the ball. As a friend she was like a sister who helped me adjust to the freshman year in college. She made her home and family also my home and family. With that they are still my Indiana family.
On that day, Febuary 3, I relive the situation in my mind which still brings tears and hard to believe that it really happened and wonder what Nancy would be doing now if she were alive.
That night has changed my life to where I have learned to be more aware of my surroundings in the bigger cities when coming from a small community. I have also gained the meaning of how important friendships are and how fast things can change. Dealing with this incident as a freshman really made me grow up and deal with a lot of situations that most freshman don’t expect to do. (like going through a murder trial.. that’s only in the movies :))
Wenning and Unverferth, would both transfer to IPFW the next season.
On April 30, 2017 the annual Nancy Rehm Border Wars Classic Boys and Girls basketball games will be played at the Hutzell Athletic Center on the campus of the University of Saint Francis in Ft. Wayne. The games will feature some of the best Senior players from Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio.
The the annual Nancy Rehm Award will be presented to a deserving honoree and is a part of the Classic history.
2012 You Tube Video
No one will forget that tragic day, February 3rd, 1982, but thanks to Nancy’s dad Tom Rehm, his family and friends, Nancy’s memory will live on.
The tragic loss of Nancy, a daughter, a friend and a teammate is just another reminder of our humanity. These games are much more than just winning and losing, but how we handle what comes our way, both the good and the bad. A senseless killing over a ‘possession’ changed the lives of all involved. But instead of letting that be the end of the story the Border Wars Classic exemplifies the life of Nancy and now deserving student-athletes can benefit from this event o0n several different levels.
The 2018 game will take place April 29 at Saint Francis’ Hutzell Athletic Center.