Rich Winter: Who are the top-5 current Native American High School Ball Players in South Dakota?

Cheyenne Eagle-Butte's Creighton LeBeau had a monster junior year and is the No. 1 Native Basketball player in South Dakota.
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By Rich Winter

With football season over, it’s time to start thinking about basketball and the Lakota Nation Invitational.

First of all, before I get started on my list, I’m just trying to stir things up a little and get everyone fired up! With stats sometimes limited, along with my knowledge of some of these teams, the list likely won’t be perfect, so if I don’t put someone on the list, feel free to comment and I’ll see if we can’t do something about those I forgot!

No. 1 – Creighton LeBeau – CEB – LeBeau scored 491 points last season and is sure to help CEB be a contender this year. The loss of Xavier Norris will be hard to fill, but LeBeau has a way of filling that stat sheet. Watched him just light it up in St. Francis last year. Great shooter, great ball-player, Panic Button wishes him success in his 2014-2015 campaign.

No. 2 – Kobe O’Rourke – Red Cloud

Kobe O’Rourke averaged 17 points and 7 rebounds in 2013-2014

With Pine Ridge having graduated everyone, I move Red Cloud up to the favorite to come out of Region 7 this year. I think, Kobey O’Rourke is just a junior, so this 6-foot-2 guard/forward is likely to light up LNI for the next two years.

This is where it gets a little harder for me –

No. 3 – Joe Clairmont – Todd County

Joe Clairmont averaged 13.5 points per game last season. Following a great senior football campaign, Clairmont should be ready to lead the Falcons to a winning record in 2014-2015.

No. 4 – Justin Prue – White River

White River made it to the state tournament again. With senior, Justin Prue in the lineup, it could be another banner year for the Tigers.

I’m sorry but I can’t find stats on Justin Prue and White River from a year ago. Prue has been a steadying force in the White River lineup for the past two seasons. As a junior, he was MVP of the Jones County tournament and his experience and toughness will be crucial to the success that Eldon Marshall and company have up in White River.

5. Leon Bad Hand – St. Francis Indian School

St. Francis senior, Leon Bad Hand will be counted on to take on the scoring load for a St. Francis team that had some heavy graduation losses.

Early in the 2013-2014 season, St. Francis junior Leon Bad Hand was tearing it up as the leading scorer for St. Francis Indian School. Although is scoring numbers dipped in the middle part of the season, St. Francis Indian lost Charles Broken Leg and Jacob Black Bear and starter, Dru Espinoza (transferred to Todd County), so Bad Hand will be counted on to take over the No. 1 scoring load.

Love to hear your thoughts on some of the other Native players across South Dakota.

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7 Comments on Rich Winter: Who are the top-5 current Native American High School Ball Players in South Dakota?

  1.' Francis Crawford // October 30, 2014 at 2:06 pm //

    6’2 Senior Guard Bruce Gunderson from Tiospa Zina is a name that is left off your list!

  2.' greg bauer // October 30, 2014 at 2:56 pm //

    Guard from Pine Ridge- Perez De Leon should be on here. With everyone graduating, De Leon’s name will be heard a lot this year.

  3. Can’t wait to see Creighton LeBeau play for the Braves!!!

  4. 7′ Center Nathanel Brown Bull for Little Wound should be on there.

  5.' Samuel O'Rourke // November 1, 2014 at 9:31 am //

    I think you have the 1 and 2 mixed up… O’Rourke is a way more rounded player on both ends of the floor..Rebouding, defense, passer, and scorer from inside and out.. All due respect to LeBeau but he’s one dimensional outside threat…

  6. LeBeau is the top player to watch in Lakota Nation this year. I watched him as a little boy play basketball year after year. He went to State with the Dupree Tigers team and of course Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Braves this past spring. He can go inside and shoot from outside as well as play defense. He is quick experienced and a hard worker on the floor!

  7. Creighton LeBeau has all the tools. He can definitely play both ends of the floor. Obviously those who say he can’t haven’t seen him in more than one game or simply don’t know basketball. Creighton will definitely put up large numbers this year especially on the defensive end. If the coaching staff would chart hustle stats, he will have some surprising numbers. He is definitely going to be wanted by alot of college programs. He is still learning the game and is scary for the teams that have to face him. Creighton LeBeau Mr. Basketball finalist barring any setbacks. Write it down. Go C-EB.

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