Quinn Austin got onto the basketball court Friday night under a much different spotlight than when he and teammates celebrated a state championship 25 years ago. He and other members of the 1998 Standing Rock High School boys basketball team were recognized for that achievement by the North Dakota High School Activities Association during the Class B Boys State Tournament. The honor comes at the same time Austin and others are pressing the association to make stricter policies on racist behavior in the wake of a late January incident involving his son and another nonwhite athlete, who is also related to Austin. It’s a tough spot for Austin, who says he’s not comfortable being the center of attention. He hopes by appearing in a T-shirt promoting a zero-tolerance policy he can make a statement “for people who don’t have a voice or somebody to speak for them.”
Another tribal basketball player in North Dakota, graduating senior RedSky Starr, was not only a standout athlete on the basketball court for the Killdeer Cowboys in the last two years, but also a regionally recognized pow wow dancer for the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara nations. Starr also played in numerous Native American basketball tournaments in many states around the Midwest. He was given the name Sacred Bear by a Hidatsa grandmother and the words to his personal song translate to, “I dance for my relatives and my people.”
Those are your headlines at this hour. I’m Colette Keith in the KIPI News center.