Ojepizijig ~ Athletics
Meet the Leech Lakers!
Athletic Director LLTC
Welcome to the first ever season of Basketball at Leech Lake Tribal College!! The excitement felt around campus as the Inaugural Laker’s Men’s and Woman’s teams take shape is at an all-time high. The Lakers will compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III level and are a member of the Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC). Student-Athletes participated in a Jump Start program centered on leadership and team building exercises to prepare for the upcoming school year. It is the 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 look forward to The Laker’s representing Leech Lake Tribal College on and off the court.
Athletic Director LLTC
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.
During the 2014-15 academic year, there were many student athletes that performed great on the court and in the classroom. Second year player Jeremy Neadeau lead the Laker men’s team in a number of statistical categories including points per game (16.9) and rebounding (7.4). Jeremy graduated from the LLTC in the spring 2015 with a Liberal Education A.A. Degree earning a 3.55GPA which won Jeremy Salutatorian honors of the 2015 graduating class. Jeremy has fully transferred to Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado a four year university where he will earn a bachelor degree in Environmental Policy B.S.
Culture of Success
3 Women’s NIAC All-Conference Players 2014-15:
3 Men’s NIAC All-Conference Players 2014-15:
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.
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Head Coach - Rod Northbird
Leech Lake Tribal College did not have to go far to find their second Women’s head Coach in program history. If you’ve been around basketball in the Cass Lake area in the past you’ve undoubtedly seen Rod Northbird on the bench coaching players up. Most recently Northbird was the Assistants Men’s Coach at LLTC from 2013-2015. Taking over the reins as the Head Women’s Coach is something Northbird is excited for, “This is an opportunity to bring my experience in basketball to the community. I’m excited for the opportunity to work with our female student-athletes.” Northbird is a graduate of Cass Lake-Bena High School and was a member of the Boys Basketball team in 1994 that set a then record for wins at 20. From 2007-2010 Northbird was the Assistant Boy’s coach for CL-B and from 2008-2010 the Head coach of AAU native Hoops Team out of Bismarck, ND. “We want to play up-tempo offensively.” Said Northbird, “We are not as big of a team so utilizing our athleticism and quickness will be key. That coupled with sound defensive play will be what you can expect.” Among the goals Northbird has set for the team at the top of the list is student’s success, “We want to develop a program that graduates players that are successful on and off the court. We want to get better and win games.” Northbird will have additional help from the All-Time leading scorer in LLTC Women’s history Danielle Jourdain-Staples. Danielle will be assisting the program in a variety of capacities including recruitment and scheduling.
Danielle Staples wins the tap for the Lakers
Head Coach - Dave Northbird
Dave Northbrid, Basketball Coach
Basketball has long been a hotbed in the Leech Lake area and there have been many fantastic players to come through the pipeline of Cass Lake-Bena Basketball over the years. One of the milestones that players strive to hit is the 1000 point scoring club. Going into the third year of existence, for the Leech Lake Tribal College athletic program, the college has choose another member of that club to lead its Men Basketball Program. Dave Northbird has been selected as the second Head Coach in Men’s Laker Basketball history. Northbird, a 1994 graduate of Cass Lake-Bena High School and 2009 graduate of LLTC, is a long-time fixture in the community and on the Pow-wow trail. Northbird was a member of the CL-B Panther team that set a then record for wins of 20 in a season and took home gold medals in the 1993 and 1995 Indigenous games. “Building on making sure our players understand they are students first is a huge priority of mine.” said Northbird. “Last year we had a first team all-conference player (Jeremy Neadeau) who was the salutatorian of the graduating class. We want all of our players to excel in the classroom and on the court.” Entering into the third season the team will play to its strengths of athleticism and speed on the court. Northbird plans to emphasize team defense and a motion dribble drive offense. In order to ensure LLTC has the athletes to make the system a success recruiting has been a high priority. “I’ve been watching a lot of local basketball lately.” said Northbird. “I’ve had a lot of community members and former players have reached out to me and that’s been a huge help.” The transition has been a smooth one so far as Northbird and Coach Brady Fairbanks have had the chance to meet and go over long term goals of the program. “Anytime you have a coaching change some of the philosophies will change.” said Laker player Brandon Masten. “It’s been great to see the coaches get together to make sure our long term goals are met.” Northbird went on to talk about involving the community in Laker Games. “We want to involve the youth in the community as much as possible. We’d like to have youth basketball games at halftime and performances by the High School drum and dance club. I’m really excited to have this opportunity, and I want to partner with as many organizations possible, to ensure that local ballers stay and play for the LLTC Lakers.”