Jay Daniels: A tribute to Crow basketball legend Elvis D. Old Bull

A clipping of Elvis Old Bull. Photo from Ryan Wetzel Basketball

Jay Daniels pays tribute to Elvis Old Bull, a basketball legend from the Crow Tribe of Montana who died last October at the age of 42:
The Los Angelos Times stated in an March 6, 1990 article "Elvis Old Bull is a legend in Montana basketball circles. By next year, he might be just a memory." How much more could they be wrong?

A few years ago, I happened to be at an open men's basketball tournament in Billings, MT. A mobile court had been placed on the parking lot of a mall and cordoned off to control traffic. I was watching my daughter play on an adjacent court in the girls division. But I couldn't help but hear the hollering and excitement on the other court. Finally I walked over and there were five Native American players on one team and the opposing team was all African Americans. Banging boards fiercely and knocking down three pointers from way beyond the 3-point arc, one Native American stood out. He attacked the boards and opposing players as if he was the only one on his team and on a mission. It was like he carried his whole team on his back and willed himself to win the game. I figured out who it was, but had never seen the "Legend" play ball before that day. I asked some guy standing next to me "who is that guy?" He said Elvis Old Bull.

The game went into overtime. The opposing team taunted Old Bull, tried to rough him up, and generally tripled teamed him. But they couldn't stop him. Old Bull was in a different zone and he wasn't going to be denied. I actually thought a fight would break out at any moment. Finally, Old Bull hit a three pointer at the buzzer to beat the African American team. As Old Bull walked off the court, one of the opposing team members shouted him out, and then said "great game man." To the Legend, he expected nothing else than to walk away a winner. His accomplishments don't happen to the all of the great high school basketball players. But they did for the Legend.

Get the Story:
Native American legend Elvis D. Old Bull will never be just a memory- Legends always live in our heart (Round House Talk 1/23)

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