Poverty, alcoholism, under-education, marginalization by the government, hope, basketball.
In the land of endless skies, basketball becomes both joyous and spiritual.
One winter night, the custodian at Lodge Grass High on the Crow reservation forgot to flick off a switch. When the team bus pulled into the parking lot after a road game nearly four hours away, the lights above six of the 17 outdoor baskets that surround the school were still burning.
It was 2 a.m.
It was snowing.
Two games of five-on-five were being played.
Somehow, in the mindless way that rivers sculpt valleys and shame shapes history, the Montana Indians’ purest howl against a hundred years of repression and pain had become…
High school basketball.
Unity Hoops Basketball, on the Crow Indian Reservation in southern Montana, an area of extreme poverty, has as its modest mission: “to use the game of basketball as a common language to teach far greater life lessons to young people in need, inspiring them to pursue their limitless potential, and empowering them to create a more unified world.”
These two short videos make you say “Oh. I can see how they will do that.” From the haunting spirituality and fight against history, to the laughter and joy-shouting of the kids playing b-ball. Watch and see.