Bronson Koenig in action in Wisconsin’s victory over the Oregon Ducks last week
Final Four Game: Wisconsin v. Kentucky – Saturday, April 4, 8:49 p.m. on TBS – Check your local television listing
HO-CHUNK NATION—When Bronson Koenig takes to the basketball court with his teammates, the Wisconsin Badgers, at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in tonight’s Final Four game against the Kentucky Wildcats, his fellow Ho-Chunk Nation citizens will be glued to their television sets – along with many others in Indian Country.
The game, scheduled to begin tonight, Saturday, April 4, at 8:49 p.m. – ET, on TBS. The game has two No.1 seeds in this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament vying to go onto the championship game on Monday night. Wisconsin brings a 35-3 record; Kentucky is undefeated this season with a 38-0 record.
Koenig (No. 24), the 6’4” guard, is a tribal citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation, based in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Koenig’s mother, Ethel Funmaker, is employed in the Nation’s IT department.
“Bronson consolidates pride in our indigenous nation, in our tribe, we associate with him,” said Ho-Chunk Nation President Jon Greendeer to Native News Online on Friday afternoon. “One of the things that makes us feel good is being in a restaurant during the game and hearing people yell out ‘Bronson’ loudly as he scores. He has exceeded all expectations long ago as he stepped up when needed earlier in the season. He made profound contributions to his team.”
Koenig has become a celebrity on the reservation. He further has brought an interest in the NCAA Tournament to the Ho-Chunk Nation.
“We really did not have a big interest in the NCAA tournament brackets here until Bronson got in it,” commented President Greendeer. “Now, we are glued to the television set.”
“He is bright and brings good energy to our tribe, particularly among our youth. Bronson began shooting buckets at the Y like any of us did. He was able to take it to a whole different level at the University of Wisconsin,” President Greendeer continued.
“One thing we realize this is a Badger team thing. Bronson is part of the team,” President Greendeer said.
President Greendeer was quick to point out basketball is only one thing Koenig excels in at the university. “His academic success is often overlooked.” Koenig is majoring in Community and Nonprofit Leadership.