Bemidji State Men's Basketball to Facilitate Skills Clinic for Youth of Red Lake Nation
Thursday, April 14, 2005
BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University men's basketball team will facilitate a free developmental clinic for the youth of BSU's neighboring Red Lake Nation Friday, April 15. The clinic will take place at the Red Lake Middle School Gymnasium from 4:00-6:00 p.m. The entire BSU men's basketball team and coaching staff will be in attendance to instruct the youth in attendance in the basics and fundamentals of the game of basketball.

Red Lake's love for basketball is evident to anyone who has ever experience the outpouring of support the community gives to its basketball teams. In light of the recent tragedy, BSU President Dr. Jon Quistgaard and Director of Athletics Rick Goeb saw this as an opportunity for BSU to and its men's basketball program to give these young people a chance to get away, even if it is just for a moment.

"I cannot begin to comprehend the recent trait and what the entire community of Red Lake is going through," commented BSU Head Men's Basketball Coach Pat Smith. "I am extremely thankful not only Dr. Goeb and Dr. Quistgaard, but also the good Lord, for providing the opportunity to go up there and to use basketball as a medium to help others."

"This is also great for our players," Smith added. "We have an opportunity to also grow ourselves and be enriched by reaching out to others."

Geographically just 32 miles south of Red Lake, Bemidji State University ties run deep with the Red Lake Nation. A large number of students from Red Lake are among the 150 American Indian students enrolled this academic year in undergraduate and graduate programs at BSU while many Bemidji State alumni are from Red Lake. Also several BSU faculty and staff have ties to Red Lake, as a large number of teachers in the Red Lake school system are Bemidji State graduates.

The BSU men's basketball team recently capped a season in which they finished 17-12 overall and 10-4 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. The team finished second in the league's 2004-05 final standings. When coupled with a 2003-04 championship, it marks the first time since the Beavers garnered back-to-back runner-up finishes in 1971-72 and 1972-73 that BSU has ended the season in one of the top two spots in consecutive seasons.