RCHS students prepare for Lakota Nation Invitational

posted on December 10, 2012

by Christopher Ives

From its humble beginnings in Pine Ridge more than thirty years ago, the Lakota Nation Invitation (LNI) has grown into one of the most significant local sporting events of the year. New OST President, and former Red Cloud Indian School student, Bryan Brewer organized the first LNI in the 1970’s due to regional high schools not wanting to host Native American teams.

#21 Trista MerrivalToday, approximately 2,500 students from more than 15 high schools in Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota converge with excited family, friends, and spectators to watch the region’s best players compete. What was originally established as a basketball tournament now also includes archery, cheerleading and wrestling competitions; a Lakota knowledge bowl and Lakota language bowl; a business plan contest, storytelling, hand games, an art show and more.

The four day event starts December 19th and runs through the evening of Saturday, the 22nd, and is now held in Rapid City, SD to accommodate the larger number of attendees.

Falcon Albers, a senior at Red Cloud High School has been preparing for this years event. “In the past it’s been a lot of fun,” says Albers, a seasoned LNI basketball player. “…Going further and further in the competition; playing at night while so many people are watching… It gets intense!”

Red Cloud Indian school has gone as far as the semi-finals in the past years. Albers and many of his teammates are putting in long hours, starting practice at 7am and shooting upwards of 100 three-pointers a piece before starting school each day.

“I’m excited for LNI this year because we have a really good team.” Says RCHS junior, Christie Sioux Bob. “I think we have a good chance of winning it!” Sioux Bob has been to LNI the past two years and now says that competing in the massive tri-state competition “comes naturally.”

For many students, the Lakota Nation Invitational is a highlight of their year. Filled with both comradery and competition, the Invitational is an opportunity for both personal and spiritual growth.


For live and daily coverage of RCIS’s progress at LNI, visit the RCIS website at: www.redcloudschool.org, on Facebook, or on Twitter.