Brandon Ecoffey: A special look at the Lakota Nation Invitational

The Winnebago Indians basketball team from the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska on the court at the 40th annual Lakota Nation Invitational. Photo by Winnebago Athletics

The LNI issue
A note from the editor's desk
By Brandon Ecoffey
Lakota Country Times Editor

For the last five years I have worked closely with my coworker Jason Wolters on this very special Lakota Nation Invitational Special Edition.

Although this issue requires that we spend many more hours behind our desks, we look at it as our gift back to the community. Or more specifically it is something that we choose we to do for our youth.

When I was growing up I remember one of the first things I would do upon arriving at the Civic Center is I would look for a program and the LNI coverage provided by the local Native papers. It was from these publications that I would learn about the upcoming season and about the athletes I would look up to throughout that year and beyond.

When I first entered this business five years ago nobody was doing anything special in their weekly publication to promote our athletes competing in LNI. So, Jason and I, decided it was time to bring back this tradition. The choice was a smart business decision as we have worked together to win three-straight national awards for our work on this project. It has also become something that the people look forward to.

Many of the people covering sports in Lakota Country really have no connection to the game or to the history of it. They weren't present when Derek Paulsen and Jess Hart squared off nor did they feel the emotion of the crowd when Lower Brule upset St. Thomas More. It takes more than a press pass to understand the feelings that our people have for the LNI.

It has been a year of ups and downs in Indian Country, luckily we still have the game we love. We hope that you enjoy reading this issue as much as we do putting it together.

(Brandon Ecoffey is the editor of LCT and an award winning journalist who was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and earned his education at Dartmouth College.)

LCT Coverage of the 40th annual Lakota Nation Invitational:
Lakota Country Times: Big Native basketball tournament opens (12/14)
Lakota Country Times: Tournament isn't just about basketball (12/14)
Lakota Country Times: Lower Brule team hopes to make splash (12/14)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge girls team aims for state title (12/14)
Lakota Country Times: Red Cloud team stands out on the court (12/14)

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