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2017-04-20 / Sports

Lakota Teams Have Strong Showing

BY TOM CRASH
LCT CORRESPONDENT


Coral Gillette and Oelrich’s Floren Cross Dog took the three point championships. Coral Gillette and Oelrich’s Floren Cross Dog took the three point championships. DENVER, CO - On Sunday, April 9, Oglala Sioux finished third in the 32nd annual Amerind All West boy’s and girl’s high school basketball tournament, in the boy’s Gold Division; out of 22 teams from Oglala Sioux Tribe area participating, the Oglala Sioux boy’s team was the highest finisher.

A total of 102 boys and girls teams from across Indian Country participated in the 32nd annual tourney. Pool play got underway Friday evening, continued for most of the day on Saturday with single elimination tournaments starting Saturday evening and champions crowned in Gold and Silver divisions for both girls and boys on Sunday afternoon. In addition to the games, participants had the opportunity to attend a Denver Nuggets game and hear presentations from a variety of speakers including Bronson Koenig, a member of the Hochunk Nation who played for the University of Wisconsin, helping their men’s basketball team compete in the NCAA tournament the past three years including a runner up finish two years ago.


Coached by Shawn Keith and Gummer Garnier, the Oglala Sioux took 3rd in the boy’s Gold Division and included Corey Brown, Halin Bad Bear, Joe O’Rourke, Jesse Jensen, Angelo Janis, Darrell Vitalis Jr., Douglas Brown Jr, Charles Schrader Jr. and Mike Pullman. Coached by Shawn Keith and Gummer Garnier, the Oglala Sioux took 3rd in the boy’s Gold Division and included Corey Brown, Halin Bad Bear, Joe O’Rourke, Jesse Jensen, Angelo Janis, Darrell Vitalis Jr., Douglas Brown Jr, Charles Schrader Jr. and Mike Pullman. “Being selected for this honor was just unbelievable,” said Tiny DeCory who with Mark Ulmer was chosen as the first recipients of the Paul Iron Cloud All West Hall of Fame award, “I used to meet wth Paul every week, he’d ask me about communities across the reservation, we would talk about strategies and ways to make communities better, I’d watch him hug the youth, cry with the youth, we’re going to make it better for families - for me, I brought teams to All West for 27 years, I remember when we brought just one or two teams and eventually we brought as many teams as we could, all of them represented the Oglala Lakota Nation.


Tiny DeCory has taken teams to All West for 27 years, she was the first recipient of the Paul Iron Cloud All West Hall of Fame award. Tiny DeCory has taken teams to All West for 27 years, she was the first recipient of the Paul Iron Cloud All West Hall of Fame award. “When we started, it was a 10 team boys tournament, we thought maybe it would be just one year but it continued and just kept growing, 102 teams this year with close to 1,000 players and 230 games,” said Mike Boyd, a co-founder. “To honor Paul, we created the All West Hall of Fame award to be given out every year in his memory; Tiny has been a fixture bringing teams every year, working hard for this event and its impact on youth across Indian Country and Mark Ulmer, who is deceased, was one of the original founders and we award educational scholarships each year in his name.”

Oglala Sioux, a boys team coached by Shawn Keith and Gummer Garnier, included Cory Brown, Halin Bad Bear, Joe O’Rourke, Jesse Jensen, Angelo Janis, Darrell Vitalis Jr., Douglas Brown Jr., Charles Schrader Jr. and Michael Pullman. Additional teams from the Pine Ridge area included two from Crazy Horse, two from Red Cloud, four others from Pine Ridge and teams from Oglala, Allen and Kyle.

Floren Cross Dog, played for Oelrichs this year, won the boy’s three point competition. Coral Gillette, daughter of Jodi Archambault and Rusty Gillette, who played for Bismarck high school this year took the girls three point championship. Gillette along with McLaughlin’s Tariq Brown Otter and CEB’s Reese Ganje helped Traditional Fire win the girl’s Gold Division championship.

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