Last week, we posted (here) the video of the documentary “Chiefs,” about the legendary basketball teams at Wyoming Indian High School on the Wind River reservation. Now comes this Associated Press story by Matt Joyce about the Chiefs. The more stories about the Chiefs, the merrier, as far as we’re concerned.
ETHETE, Wyo. (AP) — The gym is adorned with championship banners, expectations are high, and the players gasp and burn their way through sprints during the first days of basketball practice at Wyoming Indian High School.
The afternoon is growing late and the sun casts long shadows across the snowcapped Wind River mountains. Inside the brick gym, the Chiefs — winners of the 2A state championship in March — run more drills, more sprints. Theirs is an up-tempo, run-and-gun game, and stamina is critical to their chances for a repeat.
Basketball is king on the Wind River Indian Reservation — a 3,440-square-mile expanse of mountains, valleys and rivers that’s home to the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes. And the Chiefs, who have built one of Wyoming’s most successful high school basketball teams, are the pride of a community beset by poverty, alcoholism and related social ills.
Hundreds of raucous Wyoming Indian fans made the 130-mile drive to Casper to see the 155-student school take its seventh state title. At the final buzzer, the players, some of them with their hair in long pony tails, were mobbed by friends and family, young and old, seeking autographs and pictures.
The community celebrated the championship with a potluck dinner at the high school gym, said head coach Craig Ferris. They watched a video of the title game, and the players donned war bonnets and were honored with a victory dance.