Ojepizijig ~ Athletics


Meet the Leech Lakers!

Steve Smith

Steve Smith,
Athletic Director LLTC

(218) 335-4246

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.


Steve Smith
Athletic Director LLTC

Latest Athletics News Article

The inaugural regular season for the Woman’s and Men’s Basketball teams came to an end Wednesday night at Cass Lake-Bena High School.

Men's Game Vs. Oak Hills

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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.

Program Guidelines

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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Women's Basketball

Mike Reyes

Mike Reyes
Basketball Coach

Woman's Team
Front Row - Left to Right:
Mariah O’brien, Karmen Fairbanks, Sam Rambeau, Tamera Porter

Back Row - Left to Right:
Danielle Staples, Cassandra Kingbird, Whitney Spears, Maloree Strong, and Samantha Larson

Head Coach - Mike Reyes

Cass Lake-Bena High School has long been considered a pipeline for Basketball and Leech Lake Tribal College tapped into that pipeline in selecting Coach Michael Reyes as the first coach in the Woman’s Program History. Northland basketball fans will remember Reyes from his time on the court for the 2000-2001 Cass Lake-Bena Panthers Team that placed 4th at state. Reyes played collegiately for one season at Itasca Community College before beginning his coaching career. In 2006 Reyes was Co-Head Coach of Team Minnesota at the Indigenous Games in Denver and led the team to a 4th place finish. In 2011 Reyes was Head Coach for Team Minnesota at the Indigenous Games in Milwaukee and led the team to the Silver Medal. Coming full circle Reyes was an Assistant Coach for the Cass Lake-Bena Boys teams in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Coach Reyes does an extensive amount of work coaching youth basketball in the summer taking teams all over the state and country. In the inaugural season the Lady Lakers finished the regular season and post-season tournaments with 3rd place finishes. The Lake Lakers placed three players on the NIAC All-Conference Team, Guards Sam Rambeau and Justine Jourdain and Center Danielle Staples.

Personal: Born Nov. 20th 1983 in Bemidji, Minn. Son of Mark Sr. and Jennie Reyes. Has four children with his significant other Willow Howard, Mya (9), Majesty (5), Gabriel (3), and Michael Jr. (1)

Season Team Overall Conference Standing
2013-2014 LLTC 3-16 2-5 Third Place
Staples wins the tap for the Lakers

Danielle Staples wins the tap for the Lakers

Men's Basketball

Men's Team
Front Row - Left to Right:
Thomas (Sonny) Sylvester, Joe Fowler, Brandon Masten, Joshua Laduke, Taylor Burns

Middle Row - Left to Right:
Travis Huesers, Leon Staples, Jordan Collins, Kyle Raisch, and Joe Strong

Back Row - Left to Right:
Josh Redday, Jeremy Neaduea, Challenge Johnson, and Kyle Swanson

Head Coach - Brady Fairbanks

Basketball Coach, Brady Fairbanks

Brady Fairbanks, Basketball Coach

(218) 335-4256

Most basketball fans in the Northland will recognize the name Brady Fairbanks. He helped his Cass Lake-Bena squad to a 30-2 overall record, a perfect 14-0 Northland Conference title and its first ever trip to the Minnesota High School State championship game. Although his Panthers saw their championship dreams snapped on a last-second three-pointer, Fairbanks wowed crowds and was selected to the Minnesota State Tournament All-Tournament team. For his efforts, the highly-touted Fairbanks also earned All-Northland conference accolades, was named CLB and conference Most Valuable Player, earned Second Team All-State honors and was one of 2,500 high school players to be nominated as a McDonald’s All-American. Fairbanks leaves Cass Lake-Bena after a three-year career in which he set the school’s all-time scoring mark at nearly 2,000 points and helped his teams to an 84-11 record, 58-4 over the last two seasons, and two trips to the state tournament. He was also received the national high school player of the year award during the Native Elite Sports basketball camp during July 27-28, 2007. Coach Fairbanks played collegiately for 3 seasons at Bemidji State University where he was selected to the NSIC All-Freshman Team. Fairbanks finished his last season at Haskell Indian Nations University. Fairbanks led the conference in scoring and was second in rebounds. For his efforts Fairbanks was chosen as MCAC “Newcomer of the Year” and voted First Team All-Conference. He finished out his career as the first Haskell Men’s Basketball player to be chosen NAIA All-American.

Fairbanks has been hard at work recruiting players for both teams. His recruitment efforts will be helped by the credibility that comes from a very successful career at the high school, AAU, and college levels. A nearly full roster of men’s players is on board for the inaugural season. Fairbanks expects recruiting to be much easier next season, once word gets out about LLTC’s programs, and he has a chance to recruit high school students. “Most of the players we’re recruiting this year are out of school and working, and that’s a challenge,” says Fairbanks. “Next year when I’m able to recruit student-athletes straight out of high school, that will be an easier transition for them and I’m expecting good things to happen.” The inaugural season was good to the Lakers program and saw Fairbanks lead the team to the 2013-2014 NIAC Regular Season Conference Championship and a third place finish in the end of the year tournament. The Lakers also placed three players on the All-Conference Team (Center Kyle Raisch, Guard Brandon Masten, and Guard Martin Wind) Wind also took home the NIAC Player of Year. Fairbanks capped off a memorable first year by taking home NIAC Coach of the Year Personal: Born Aug. 11, 1988 in Minneapolis, Minn. Son of LeRoy Staples and Bonnie Fairbanks. Fairbanks and his significant other Samantha Rambeau have on daughter, Skyler (8 months)

Season Team Overall Conference Standing
2013-2014 LLTC 16-8 7-2 First Place