By Santee Ross, University of Montana
March is indeed madness when it comes to Indian country. Cars become jam packed with Natives who travel with the high school basketball teams like an unofficial cheerleaders.
Everyone, parents, cousins and elders, scrounge up gas money to cheer on the native youth in the most iconic Native community sport. Heck, even the rez dogs travel to watch from the bleachers.
Back home, Craig Ferris took the Wyoming Indian boys basketball team to state where they claimed the title for the ninth time.
This is just another item to add on the long list of why Wyoming is awesome.
It can also be added to the even longer list of why Indians are awesome. Indians are gifted athletes. In other words we got skills, yee.
I think Native skills may have something to do with our history as hunters and gatherers. Indians had to be excellent athletes if they wanted to bring home the “bacon,” or some other form of wild game … mmm, elk.
What do you need when you’re hunting? You need endurance to stalk the animal for long periods of time and when that time comes, you take the kill shot. What do you need for a long game? That’s right, you need endurance.
The same goes for speed, strength and communication with your team mates.
However, just because Indians are gifted athletes does not mean hard work does not come into play. This is where the cliche is true, practice makes perfect.
I know my cousins Craig Ferris and Michael Hiwalker, assistant coach, dedicate their lives to those boys. It shows that not only are Indians gifted athletes but hard work will take you farther.
Basically Indians were born for this game.
Santee Ross (Lakota/Hopi) is from Lander, Wyo.