Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame

Honoring Those That Came Before Us...

It is always too soon to talk about the passing of many of our brothers and sisters. We lost a true Champion and Legend, but you know he's runnin' the court on high bringing the crowd to a frenzy! Rest in Peace Elvis Old Bull!

In the late 1980s, people from all over the country came to Montana to watch Elvis Old Bull play basketball, Don Wetzel Sr. told an audience Friday afternoon.

Old Bull, a member of the Crow Tribe, was one of 16 athletes inducted into the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame. About 200 people gathered in the Student Union ballroom at Montana State University Billings to honor the inductees.

"He played at Lodge Grass High School," Wetzel said. "And when I went through his records, his magic was felt not only in our area but statewide and nationally."

Old Bull scored more than 1,900 points during his high school career, and he led Lodge Grass to three consecutive state championships from 1988-90, earning tournament MVP all three years. He had 484 assists - 22 in one game, Wetzel said.

"People were saying things like 'Elvis is alive, in Lodge Grass, Montana,' " Wetzel said.

Sports Illustrated listed him as one of the 50 greatest sports figures in Montana for the 20th century.

"You're not going to win basketball championships with one guy," Wetzel said. "But you certainly can have one guy who comes to the top when you need it done. Some guys have it and some don't, and this guy had it."

When Old Bull walked up to receive his certificate, he received a standing ovation. He was a bit tongue-tied facing the crowd, telling them it was easier to play in front of a crowd than speak to one. But he said being named to the hall of fame was an honor. He thanked God, his parents, his family and his teammates.

And he told them that as a child, his grandfather encouraged him.

"He told me to make the best of what you've got in your life, and I believe that," Old Bull said.

Then he picked up his 2-year-old daughter, Coral, and said, "She's going to be a basketball player."

Read more:

Basketball star leads class into Indian hall of fame December 12, 2008
Montana basketball great Elvis Old Bull dies in crash October 1, 2014

2104 Induction Ceremony will be in December location to be decided. Keep the nominations coming. Download the form here for Nominations! Mail or email them in or message us on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/montanaindianathletichof Stay Tuned!

5TH Annual MIAHOF Induction Photos are Up!

dwetzel25's  album on Photobucket
 

2012 Hall of Fame Induction Page is up!

The 2012 Hall of Fame Induction was on December 6, 2012 at the MSUB Downtown Campus in Billings, MT. We had roughly 300 people attend! Thank you all for your support!

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The hall of fame is the creation of Don Wetzel, Sr. a former Cut Bank and University of Montana standout and coach. It came out of a talk he had with his father about 10 years ago concerning the need to recognize Indian athletes.
The Hall of Fame will bring the past to the present, showing the youth and the native communities that we have our own legends among us and for those that have past, we will restore their memory and accomplishments.
This has never happened for the Native Athletes of our state and with so many great athletes and teams representing Indian Country, this is definitely necessary.
The Hall will recognize college and high school athletes, coaches and teams from all sports venues that have documented accomplishments. All-State, All-American, State Championships and MVPs. Record breakers and record holders that made their community proud during their amazing championship runs.

"I started looking at the '20s and '30s and found there were all-state teams and I never knew about those players and coaches," Wetzel said. "I felt the need to bring them out and recognize them. There were some that were just legends that will pop to the front."

Update:

Induction Ceremony is on track for December second week of 2014!

We have recently been contacted to have the Induction ceremony in Great Falls or Havre. Stay tuned!

Nominations coming in are some good ones. Keep them coming. (Download and mail in the nomination form from the left).

~Don Wetzel, Sr.