Meet the Leech Lakers!
Welcome to the 2017-2018 season for the Leech Lake Tribal College Lakers. This is our fifth season having athletics here at Leech Lake. Our Men and Women compete against Division 1, 2, & 3 colleges in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Our Lakers are one of ten members in the Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC). Our conference is made up of teams from Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Manitoba (Canada). It is our goal of the Leech Lake Tribal College Athletic Department to provide opportunities to student-athletes to enrich their collegiate experience through participation with competitive and cooperative athletic teams. We are looking forward to a successful season on and off the court for our players.
Men’s Basketball Head Coach
Starting in the fall of 2013 Leech Lake Tribal College began offering men’s and women’s basketball. The team name is the Leech Lakers and the team colors are black and gold. LLTC competes in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III level and is a member of the Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC). It is the goal of the LLTC Athletic Department to provide opportunities to student-athletes to enrich their collegiate experience through participation with competitive and cooperative athletic teams.
The Leech Lake Lakers Men’s & Women’s Basketball Teams Bring Home Trophies
March 27, 2018 by Leech Lake Tribal College
The Leech Lake Tribal College Laker basketball teams are proud to announce their participation and success in the Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC) Conference and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) Tournament.
The Leech Lakers men’s team ranked second in the regular season with a 10-2 record. In first place was Sisseton-Wahpeton Tribal College with an 11-1 record. The Lakers faced conference rival Turtle Mountain Community College in the opening round of playoffs. The Lakers looked rusty early in the tournament, coming out shooting just 36% overall with 23% from the 3-point arc. The Lakers were locked in defensively for the entire game, creating havoc on the TMCC Mighty Mikinock’s shooting. TMCC shot 29% overall with 22% from the three-point range. LLTC won the game 77-53 and advanced to the 2ndround. The Lakers’ shooting was better during the second half of the game. They were led in scoring by Josh LaDuke who had 27 points. Kevin Hanks led the Lakers on the boards with 12, and Joe Strong had a solid 8.
Game 2 of the NIAC tournament was a battle from start to finish as the Lakers faced the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers, who came from north of the border. It was a three-point shoot-out as both teams combined made 27 three-pointers in the game. LLTC led CMU at halftime 38-37. After both teams made runs in the second half, the LLTC Lakers came out on top 86-83 and advanced to the NIAC Championship for the first time in Laker history. Josh LaDuke, Kevin Hanks, and Nate Howard combined for 73 of the Lakers’ 86 points.
The third day of the NIAC tournament was an exciting one for the LLTC Lakers, as they looked to capture their first championship in school history. Starting out hot early, the Lakers jumped out to a 51-37 lead and shot 50% in the first half. After a few runs by Providence University in the second half, the Lakers looked to finish them off. Every time players for the Providence Pilots made a shot, Lakers would turn around and made a big shot for LLTC. It was a great team win for the LLTC Lakers, as they outlasted the Pilots 95-81. Six Laker players were in double figures as they brought the NIAC Championship home to Leech Lake!
Interim President Pat Broker states, “There is tremendous pride and excitement that we all feel at our College and throughout our community in recognition of these talented and dedicated young men and women who love the sport of basketball! The fact that Coach Brady Fairbanks was named Coach of the Year adds to our pride as he is an excellent role model for our young people throughout our community. We are fortunate to have Coach Brady Fairbanks and Coach Tara Goodsky working with our players at Leech Lake Tribal College.”
The Lady Lakers finished out their tough season with a strong finish at the AIHEC Division 2 Championship. The six ladies started off the AIHEC tournament with a couple of losses. Alyss Mountain, Averi Holthusen, Sunshyne Kingbird, Heather Strong, Sara Seki, and Candace Jacobs didn’t give up and fought their way down the bracket. They played Oglala Lakota College in the championship game. Averi Holthusen won “All-Tournament” player, and Candace Jacobs was recognized with a star quilt for achieving a 4.0 while being a student-athlete.
Despite some lost games, there is still plenty to celebrate with these young women. The reality of being a student-athlete, and a female one at that, comes with a tremendous amount of challenges. These young women are mothers, caretakers of their family, while working and doing homework at the same time. The weight they carry on their shoulders is much to commemorate. They are role models throughout the college campus and community. They are on their own individual marches to greatness in pursuing their education and come together as a team and family on the basketball court. In their recent AIHEC Championship, they showed just how great they can be.
If you are interested in becoming a Laker and playing for LLTC in the upcoming 2018-2019 season, please contact either Brady Fairbanks or Tara Goodsky at 218-335-4220.
Culture of Success
NIAC Men’s Champions 2017-2018
Coach of the Year:
Brady Fairbanks 2017-2018
Men’s NIAC All-Conference Players 2017-2018
- Kevin Hanks
- Josh LaDuke
- Nate Howard *Honorable Mention
Women’s NIAC All-Conference Players 2017-2018
- Averi Holthusen
- Sunshyne Kingbird
- Alyss Mountain *Honorable Mention
3 Women’s NIAC All-Conference Players 2014-15:
- Danielle Jourdain
- Tonya Morris
- Tamara Porter
3 Men’s NIAC All-Conference Players 2014-15:
- Challenge Johnson
- Jeremy Neadeau
- Josh Redday
Students must be currently enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits per semester in good academic standing to be eligible to play. Students must maintain a grade point average of 2.0 or higher. Students must have amateur status. Individuals who have received any form of compensation for play are ineligible to participate in that sport. Participants will display good sportsmanship at all times in practices and competition. Students will adhere to all established LL TC Athletic Department conduct and disciplinary policies. Violations of these policies can result in dismissal from the team. Students must have current physical, medical insurance, and other relevant medical information on file with the athletic department.