Men's basketball team
holds camp on S.D. reservation
A group of Walla Walla College men’s basketball players held a basketball camp on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota this summer.
Six WWC students and two students from Campion Academy in Loveland, Colo., held the three-day basketball camp at Little Wound High School in Lyle, S.D. About 40 junior high and high school students participated in the clinic.
The trip was sponsored by the Dakota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and spearheaded by Deb Claymore-Cuny, Native American Ministries Coordinator and the mother of WWC basketball player Clay Cuny.
“The Dakota tribes are virtually untouched as far as the Adventist gospel message,” says Claymore-Cuny. “I was brainstorming ideas for friendship evangelism and settled on the basketball clinic.”
Tuffy Lunderman, athletic director at Little Wound High School, jumped at the chance to have the WWC men lead camp. Basketball is very important to those on the reservation and one of the main social gatherings for the Oglala Lakota Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
The WWC students started each session with worship and prayer before heading into basketball basics. “Our goal was to make a spiritual impact through basketball,” says Rhett Unger, assistant basketball coach at WWC and trip sponsor. “I was really impressed by the kids there, and think it was good for our guys as well.”
Clay Cuny, who was born on the Pine Ridge reservation, says he feels a calling to go back to the reservation and help out. “It was a great experience. The kids would hang out with us before and after camp, just talking. I think we had plenty of opportunities to show them Jesus.”
The Dakota Conference plans to continue the basketball camps next summer. “We’re definitely going to do another at Little Wound,” says Claymore-Cuny. “If we can raise the money, we want to have at least two more on other reservations.”
WWC students who hosted the basketball camp include Ashton Bartlett, a senior physical education major; Clinton Bartlett, a senior mathematics major; Andrew Cathlin, a sophomore aviation technology major; Cuny, a junior pre-pharmacy major; Alan Krouse, a junior physical education major; and Ryan Wilson, a sophomore music education major. Students from Campion Academy include Gabe Cuny and Benji Devries.