Rapid City Central girls basketball team honors Lakota culture, makes history

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 5:10 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The Rapid City Central girls basketball team tips off their season on Dec 10, in Aberdeen. While we don’t know where the Lady Cobblers will be come state tournament time in March. The team has already made history.

While the names on the front of the Central warmups might not catch your eye, a word on the back carries special meaning to Coach Allan Bertram’s team.

“For me, when I get to put on that shooting shirt, it makes me proud because I get to represent who I am,” Josie Hill, says.

The uniforms feature the Lakota word wowachinthanka

“The word it means perseverance,” continued Hill, “A lot of our players have been through a lot of stuff. We keep pushing and basketball helps us,”

making the Cobblers the first team in South Dakota AA to represent Lakota culture on court-worn uniforms.

“We all agreed on it because we all come from different backgrounds but a majority of us are Native,” says, Saide Glade

Bertram says the majority of his team is Native American, including two of his seniors, Hill and Glade, who led the effort to bring inclusiveness to the court.

“We all discussed it because it is a word that means something to us.” added Glade, “We’ve all been through a lot, and to come out and play the game that we love,”

Glade specifically transferred in from a reservation school and now that she is a Cobbler, she is excited to continue the tradition of Lakota basketball players leaving their mark on the state.

“Coming from Red Cloud that was an all native school, and come up here and have my background with me” continued Glade“and I feel like we are representing ourselves well,”

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