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A Red Lake Nation College Basketball Team Hits the Court for the First Time


As the Red Lake Nation College (RLNC) gets ready to break ground on their new campus this spring, they are also getting ready to play their first basketball game on Saturday, February 23, 2013, at 8 p.m. on campus in Red Lake, Minnesota.

The Red Lake Nation College Migizi (Eagles) will play the Turtle Mountain Mighty Mikinocks (Turtles) in an exhibition game. The game is billed as a fundraising event for the new RLNC campus with a donation of $5 per person suggested. It is expected to be a highly entertaining evening with a three-point shooting contest from the best six players from each team, $100 free throw chances for five lucky fans and free t-shirts for random fans. The game will be announced by Tito Ybarra, a Red Lake comedian and the DJ will be Mike Donnell. A Red Lake "Legends" game (former Red Lake players who are 35+) will be played prior to the featured game, at 7 p.m.

The new RLNC team will debut as a club team with a limited schedule in the 2013/2014 school year and start with league play in the 2014/2015 school year. “We think organized sports can teach students positive lessons about life, teamwork, perseverance and leadership,” said Dan King, Red Lake Nation College President, in an RLNC press release. “Plus, there are studies that show sports programs have a direct link to academic success. In a way, this is wellness through athletic and academic achievement."

In 1969, Terry Anderson from the Fort Thomas Apaches and Rick Bryce from the Pima Roughriders were named to the Arizona All Star Team and were honored at a banquet held at the Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. For four consecutive years from 1966-1969, Anderson was named to the AIA State All Tournament Team and was selected as the Most Valuable Player in most tournaments the Apaches played in. Marland "Honk" Norton was the coach for the Fort Thomas Apaches. Anderson was the only Native American Indian to be named as an All Star AIA player and made history for the Fort Thomas Apaches. (Courtesy Sandra Rambler)

King also said that he envisions the Red Lake Community getting behind and supporting the new team. He hopes the hoopsters will draw more male college enrollees as the college's student body is currently 65 percent female. King says plans are in the works for a women's team in the near future, according to the press release.

“Our community is very pleased to see the fast growth and development of our Tribal College and this new team is one more example of the excitement that is building with our college," says Red Lake Tribal Chairman, Floyd Jourdain, Jr. "This is another great way for our community to show our Red Lake Pride.” Jourdain, a former Red Lake HS shooting guard, will play in the legends game and will also participate in the three-point contest at halftime.

The new men’s basketball head coach is local Red Lake basketball legend, Gerald Kingbird. Kingbird is a graduate of Bemidji State University and currently works at the Red Lake Casino.

For more information about Red Lake Nation College and Red Lake Nation College athletics, click here.