Basketball season is one of the longest sports seasons there is, lasting up to eight months if teams make it well in to the playoffs, or even further, to the championship game. But going to the finals is a team effort and not an individual one.
Last week, ICTMN focused on football players to watch in the upcoming season.
Now it’s time to highlight some basketball players in Indian Country. Here are some we plan to root for or have rooted for in the past.
Schimmel is averaging 13.5 minutes and 1.6 assists per game for University of Louisville Cardinals. The humble 20–year-old guard also said that she is comfortable being Shoni Schimmel’s little sis.
"I've been kind of used to it my whole life because she was always my older sister and she was the whole big show," Jude told ESPN. "I've gotten used to it, and I don't have a problem with it. I'm happy for her that she gets that much attention; I wouldn't say that I get jealous or anything like that.
"I don't know, it's just cool being able to say 'I'm Shoni Schimmel's sister.'"
Koenig is a member of the Ho-Chunk Tribe and leads all Big 10 conference freshmen in the 3-point field goal shooting percentage. He recently tweeted, “Thank you to all of my Native American supporters I can't tell you how much I appreciate you. Love you all.”
Leads NCAA D-1 in 3-point shots made in a game this season. She hit 11 from behind the arc in one game earlier this season.
Watch the 6-foot-1 guard, who is currently in her sophomore year at New Mexico State University, make the WAC record.
Buck told ESPNthat she has always embraced her heritage and continues to inspire young players:
“I just want the younger kids to know that it's not a bad thing, it's not something you should be ashamed of, growing up on a reservation. But if you have talent to do something to get off of it, don't waste that.”
The Cherokee Nation citizen was named the Heartland Conference Freshman of the Year for the University of Arkansas Fort Smith Lions (NCAA D2).
While at Roland High School in Oklahoma, Youngblood Won the Faith 7 Slam Dunk Contest.
On March 13, he tweeted, “Off to the NCAA tournament. Nothing but business. Strictly business.”
Shauna Long, No. 32
Long, Sioux, leads the Lamar University Cardinals with 65 3-point shots made this season.
The Bismarck Tribune wrote about the adjustments Long made moving off the reservation during her freshman year in college:
For Long, it's been more than just adjusting to a different level of play. She's the only Native American on the Lamar team and is living off the Standing Rock Reservation.
"It's like living out of your comfort zone," Long said of moving off the reservation. "A lot of Native Americans do have a lot of talent and can play basketball and go to college. They choose not to. Why? Why do they quit?"
Wynne is a member of the Spokane Tribe. He was named to the 2013-2014 Men’s Basketball All-GSAC Team and earned GSAC’s Player of the Year award.
Vanguard University Athletics
The senior at Vanguard University averaged 20.1 points per game leading the conference in scoring for the second consecutive season after transferring from Spokane Community College. His 3.4 three-pointers per contest rank second in the conference and third in the nation. Recently, he scored 24 points and helped lead the Lions to their first conference tournament title.
Warrior is a member of the Ponca Tribe and was named MCAC Freshman of the Year.
Haskell's Kelli Warrior led all scorers in the game with 24 points and pulled down 7 rebounds as the Indians came out hot and built an early 18-0 lead before the Tigers would get on the score board near the 15 minute mark. After a small run by the Tigers near the half way point in the 1st half, the Indians fed Webster and Levier the ball and went in with a huge 50-23 halftime lead.
Henderson’s bio on OleMissSports.com reads like he’s already a hall of famer: Named SEC Player of the Year by CBSSports.com and SEC Newcomer of the Year by the Associated Press ... Earned All-SEC first team honors from the Blue Ribbon Yearbook and NBCSports.com and second team honors from the Associated Press and the league's coaches. His list of accomplishments goes on.
The @NativeFlash22 as he refers to himself on Twitter, has almost 67,000 followers, a big sense of humor but, unfortunately, he 's had some trouble off the court.
Well, what can ICTMN say?
Need we say more?...
The idea for this story is courtesy ndnsports.com.