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ZaGranny
06-20-2015, 06:53 AM
Damian Ben-Holter, who played for Oral Roberts when we played them, is running clinics for kids in small native villages in Alaska, Canada, and the lower 48 after a successful year playing in turkey.

The Interior village of Tanana is about a thousand miles from Hydaburg, the Southeast Alaska village where Damen Bell-Holter grew up and became a high school basketball star. It’s about 3,000 miles from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Bell-Holter was a Division I all-conference player for Oral Roberts University. It’s about 5,000 miles from Istanbul, where Bell-Holter earned a six-figure salary this year in the Turkish Basketball League.

Yet kids in Tanana this week are learning that Bell-Holter, a 6-foot-9 center/forward, is very much one of them. The places where Bell-Holter has lived may be far, far away from Tanana, but his experiences are not.


“He starts telling them his story and they say, ‘That’s our life,’ ’’ said Cynthia Erickson, who helped bring Bell-Holter to Tanana for a three-day basketball clinic.

“He’s inspiring. He’s our home-boy, you know?”

Bell-Holter, 25, is spending his offseason traveling from clinic to clinic, hitting mostly small, mostly Native communities in places like North Dakota, South Dakota, Canada, Alaska. Before Tanana, he put on Alaska clinics in Hydaburg, Craig and Metlakatla, and next week he’ll be in Kalskag.

He teaches basketball and preaches healthy choices. And he relates. He shares tales of growing up around suicide, alcoholism and dysfunction, and he tells kids there is something more, something better.

Much more at the link.

http://www.adn.com/article/20150618/one-their-own-tanana-kids-learn-basketball-life-lessons-bell-holter

RELATED:
After year in NBA 'grad school,' Hydaburg's Bell-Holter ready for next challenge
Hydaburg's Bell-Holter bags career-high 24 points in NBA D-League

Moderators--move this when you need to, but I thought more folks would be interested than the few who read general basketball.

ZaGranny

webspinnre
06-20-2015, 10:04 AM
This is great. He's from southeast alaska, where I grew up, so I've kept a bit of an eye on him. This is great for so many of those villages.

DixieZag
06-20-2015, 10:21 AM
I believe I saw a documentary at some point that focused upon how huge the high school basketball games in these tiny towns were as an event. They play in winter (obviously), when there is little enough to do, and few things to gather in a crowd. The level of basketball is well below what anyone here would expect in a State "B" tournament, and yet that almost makes it more exciting for each town.

Very cool stuff.

webspinnre
06-20-2015, 11:05 AM
HS basketball is a way of life in Alaska. We don't do homecoming for football, we do it for basketball.

ZaGranny
09-15-2015, 03:30 PM
In addition to running basketball camps in small villages and on reservations, former opponent Damen Bell-Holter video has made some videos.

This one on suicide:

https://twitter.com/damenbellholter/status/643899257901187072

Suicide is a huge problem Alaskan villages and on reservations.

He has an earlier one on Bullying which I haven't found yet.

If you're interested, view it and pass it on.

ZaGranny

ZaGranny
09-15-2015, 03:36 PM
Damian Bell-Holter, who played for Oral Roberts when we played them, is running clinics for kids in small native villages in Alaska, Canada, and the lower 48 after a successful year playing in turkey.

The Interior village of Tanana is about a thousand miles from Hydaburg, the Southeast Alaska village where Damen Bell-Holter grew up and became a high school basketball star. It’s about 3,000 miles from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Bell-Holter was a Division I all-conference player for Oral Roberts University. It’s about 5,000 miles from Istanbul, where Bell-Holter earned a six-figure salary this year in the Turkish Basketball League.

Yet kids in Tanana this week are learning that Bell-Holter, a 6-foot-9 center/forward, is very much one of them. The places where Bell-Holter has lived may be far, far away from Tanana, but his experiences are not.


“He starts telling them his story and they say, ‘That’s our life,’ ’’ said Cynthia Erickson, who helped bring Bell-Holter to Tanana for a three-day basketball clinic.

“He’s inspiring. He’s our home-boy, you know?”

Bell-Holter, 25, is spending his offseason traveling from clinic to clinic, hitting mostly small, mostly Native communities in places like North Dakota, South Dakota, Canada, Alaska. Before Tanana, he put on Alaska clinics in Hydaburg, Craig and Metlakatla, and next week he’ll be in Kalskag.

He teaches basketball and preaches healthy choices. And he relates. He shares tales of growing up around suicide, alcoholism and dysfunction, and he tells kids there is something more, something better.

Much more at the link.

http://www.adn.com/article/20150618/one-their-own-tanana-kids-learn-basketball-life-lessons-bell-holter

RELATED:
After year in NBA 'grad school,' Hydaburg's Bell-Holter ready for next challenge
Hydaburg's Bell-Holter bags career-high 24 points in NBA D-League

Moderators--move this when you need to, but I thought more folks would be interested than the few who read general basketball.

ZaGranny

I corrected my first mention of his name.

EEzag
09-15-2015, 04:45 PM
I corrected my first mention of his name.

True dat. Saw this kid as a senior. Basketball is big in southeast especially in the villages. Lots of fun to watch. It's kind of amazing when you consider most of the locations are islands separated by more distance than spokane to Seattle. There is no bus. Gotta take the Alaskan marine hi way baby. You'd spend more time on the ferry than you would at the destination.

ZaGranny
09-15-2015, 04:57 PM
True dat. Saw this kid as a senior. Basketball is big in southeast especially in the villages. Lots of fun to watch. It's kind of amazing when you consider most of the locations are islands separated by more distance than spokane to Seattle. There is no bus. Gotta take the Alaskan marine hi way baby. You'd spend more time on the ferry than you would at the destination.

Love the Marine Highway. We almost always take it on the way home from Fairbanks. When ORU played us with Damen on the team, there was a large contingent of his family and friends (including his mom and sister who waved signs that said : "#32, Reppin' the 907" who had come down on the ferry to see him play knowing that this was the closest to home he would be playing. (not sure of his number, but you get the idea and 907 of course is the area code for all of Alaska))

ZaGranny

webspinnre
09-15-2015, 07:21 PM
The Marine Highway is the best. Nothing better than 18 hours on the ferry hanging out with your teammates.