Story by Anne Morsette
The ninth annual “All American Indian Shootout” occurred in Billings, Montana at the MetraPark during the beginning of the month. Throughout December ninth, tenth, and eleventh; 20 teams from Montana and North Dakota competed in a Class B “round robin” style basketball tournament. Event organizer Shaun Backbone says that they used the Crow Americans philosophy when they created the shootout nine years ago. What started out as a four-team basketball tournament has now grown to a three-day event with teams from two different states.
Shaun Backbone says the goal is to get all tribal teams from North Dakota and Montana to play. In recent years, the White Shield Warriors have travelled to play in the shootout. This year, the Mandaree Warriors joined them in Billings also. High school boys and girls both got the opportunity to play and compete. This year was the first year that teams from Northern Montana came and brough some good competition.
Although COVID posed some slight issues for the teams and in last year’s tournament; this year’s turned out well, according to Shaun. The coaches and athletic directors really brought the whole experience together for a successful event for the high school athletes. Next year’s tournament is already in the making, at the same time and place.
*Pictures will be submitted in the next issue, courtesy of the All American Indian Shootout Organization