Another Tournament in Sioux Falls? First the Summit League, Now the Lakota Nation Invitational?
Basketball inventor James Naismith continues to smile upon Sioux Falls, the new hoops Mecca of America.
Thursday, our colleagues at KCSR-AM in Chadron, Nebraska broke the story that the Lakota Nation Invitational basketball tournament is considering moving to Sioux Falls.
Spearfish, Hot Springs and Bismarck have also expressed interest in the tournament that has a $6 million economic impact.
Organizers are considering the move because of racial incidents in Rapid City, like the throwing of beer and racial insults hurled at Native American students at a hockey match.
Next week, LNI organizers are meeting with Sioux Falls officials about possibly hosting the tournament here.
Good for LNI. Good for Sioux Falls.
I can see why LNI officials are considering a move. They feel that Rapid City officials have not responded swiftly or strongly enough over Native children being treated so badly. And what speaks loudest in white, capitalist society?
So, just the threat of a move might get Rapid City’s attention. But I hope the tournament comes here for other reasons.
First, it would be a nice economic boost to the community in the dead of winter.
But more importantly, it is a chance for those of us who live in eastern South Dakota to experience the other cultural events that are part of the LNI. That means different foods, music and art—and conversations that we don’t always have here.
And for the participants, playing at the Sanford Pentagon or the Sanford Premier Center would be a highlight of a high school athletic career.
And you know what else, we’re great hosts here in Sioux Falls. Just ask the folks who attended the highly successful Summit League Tournament.
We know hospitality. We know basketball. Welcome to Sioux Falls, LNI!