HBO Real Sports interested in “Rez ball” on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION – “HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” may be coming to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to get a glimpse of “Rez ball” according to a news release issued by the Oglala Sioux Public Relations.
Recently Oglala Sioux Tribal President Bryan Brewer was interviewed via telephone, by Jason Samuels, Senior Segment Producer for HBO Real Sports.
The topic of discussion was basketball on the reservation. Many refer to basketball on an Indian reservation as “Rez ball.”
President Brewer was instrumental in founding Lakota Nation Invitational, which completed its 36th year in December. In 1977, many non-reservation high schools would not host or play American Indian teams.
Brewer, who today serves as the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s president, decided that year to organize the “All-Indian Tournament,” a basketball competition on the Pine Ridge Reservation that would allow Native teams across western South Dakota to showcase their talent.
Lakota Nation Invitational Brings 8,000 to Rapid City each December
In just a few years, the event became a tremendous source of pride for Native youth and communities across the region. It moved to Rapid City in 1979 to accommodate rising numbers of participants, families and fans. It was renamed the Lakota Nation Invitational in 1987, and today it engages teams from more than 15 high schools in Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
HBO Real Sports interviewed President Brewer to get the history of this great basketball tournament.
Interest was expressed by Mr. Samuels in coming out to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to film basketball games between some of the local schools during the Region 8 playoffs.