Red carpet rolled out for Lakota Nation Invitational participants

By KOTA Staff

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 8:36 PM MST

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) – the 44th Lakota Nation Invitational starts on Dec 15, to welcome all participants the red carpet was rolled out at the Monument.

A record number 48 teams are playing basketball this year with teams representing every reservation in South Dakota as well schools from Nebraska are playing in the basketball tournament.

The LNI also has hand games, a language bowl, and an art show amongst other events.

After being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic one of the newest schools in the state., the Lakota Tech Tatanka, will be making their debut in the LNI.

The boy’s team is hoping to have a strong showing after having their debut as a team last year.

“Just because we are the new team, so people are going to try to take advantage of that, but we are coming,” Triston Lebeau, says

“Most of the teams are going to be overlooking us due to this being our second year, but we are going to make a statement. We are ready,” Jordan Whirlwind Hourse

“All of us have been playing together so we have chemistry together” Beau Donovan, says

The Tatanka is led by first-year head coach Casey Means who is ready to lead his team into the tournament, he and his team spoke about how they enjoyed the red carpet experience.

“It was pretty cool, it was eye-opening to see how much people support Natives playing basketball and showing what all the teams can do.” Casey Means, says

“I’ve never come to this, I’d rather stay home and practice and get ready for the tournament. But to be a part of it and experience was something different, I have chills. to see the boys get recognized for who they are, they are student-athletes,” Casey Means, says

The LNI runs until Dec. 18