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.
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.
After coming back from a year of sabbatical leave to finish his degree, Coach Fairbanks is ready to take over the reins from Dave Northbird. Dave did an amazing job keeping the program moving in the right direction, and the Lakers plan on using that platform to jumpstart this year into the 16-17 Season.
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.
Personal: Born Aug. 11, 1989 in Minneapolis, Minn. Son of LeRoy Staples and Bonnie Fairbanks. Fairbanks and his daughter Skylar (3 Years old) reside in Bena, MN.