Lakota Hoops: Life and Basketball on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (Critical Issues in Sport and Society) (Paperback)
For over 150 years the Lakota have tenaciously defended their culture and land against white miners, settlers, missionaries, and the U.S. Army, and paid the price. Their economy is in shambles and they face serious social issues, but their culture and outlook remain vibrant. Basketball has a role to play in the way that people on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation configure their hopes for a better future, and for pride in their community.
In Lakota Hoops, anthropologist Alan Klein trains his experienced eye on the ways that Lakota traditions find a seamless expression in the sport. In a variety of way such as weaving time-honored religious practices into the game or extending the warrior spirit of Crazy Horse to the players on the court, basketball has become a preferred way of finding continuity with the past. But the game is also well suited to the present and has become the largest regular gathering for all Lakota, promoting national pride as well as a venue for the community to creatively and aggressively confront white bigotry when needed.
Richly researched and filled with interviews with Pine Ridge residents, including both male and female players, Lakota Hoops offers a compelling look at the highs and lows of a community that has made basketball its own.
About the Author
ALAN KLEIN is a professor of anthropology at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. He has examined the intersection of sport and culture for forty years. Author of six other books and dozens of articles, his studies have delved into such topics as the contested terrain of baseball in the Dominican Republic, nationalism on the U.S.-Mexican border, masculinity among California bodybuilders, and globalization and sport.
"Basketball is so much more than just a game; it is a cultural resource that allows the Pine Ridge community to express their identity against a social landscape of poverty, racism, and domination. In Lakota Hoops, Klein provides an important statement about sport in Indian Country, sketching out the larger structural landscape in which the actions of some Lakota basketball players unfold. In learning about the individuals, we learn the logic behind their actions and how they interact with the larger context of ongoing US colonization of native lands."
— Jeffery Montez de Oca
"I've long thought that Alan Klein might be the most important anthropologist of sport in our midst. Lakota Hoops confirms that. Unflinchingly honest, brilliantly argued, and gracefully written, it's a tour de force about sport, Lakota culture, and a reality this nation has yet to fully confront."
— Rob Ruck