Corey Brown, Alejandro Rama and Luke Wells all made the Class A, All-Tournament squad.
For the past few seasons folks across South Dakota have been pointing to the Native American Class of 2019. Some elite talent in that class showcased itself all season with dominating play, some of which reached the South Dakota state tournaments this season.
While 2019 is expected to be one to remember, the Class of 2018 showed South Dakota that REZ-BALL can compete at the highest level. With that in mind, here are the top-6 Native American players in South Dakota as determined by the staff of Sacred Hoops Basketball.
Joe Sazue 111 - Crow Creek senior
Joe Sazue 111 has always been known as a big-time scorer with unlimited range. In 2017/2018 Sazue III added to his arsenal by allowing his teammates to be better while picking his spots to REIGN FIRE....The 6-foot-2 senior helped lead Billy Joe Sazue's squad to a 20-5 record and 7th place in the Class A state tournament by averaging (24 ppg, 7 rpg, 4 apg, 3 mpg). Grew up playing ball on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming and had a huge base of fans in two states rooting for him. Helped the Chieftains to a 2nd place finish at the Lakota Nation Invitational.
Luke Wells 11 - Crow Creek sophomore
The only sophomore on the All-Native first team, Luke Wells 11 did a little bit of everything for Billy Joe Sazue's squad. Long arms with the ability to get a lot of defensive deflections. A good rebounder at 6-foot-4, Wells is equally adept at putting the ball on the floor or pulling up for a jumper. Adept with both hands, Wells put on a show against Tea Area in the state tournament with 28 points and 11 rebounds. A terrific passer who makes everyone on the court better with his vision.
The Final-Four of the first team all come from the western part of South Dakota with three of those players doing battle in Region 7A.
Todd County junior Aiden Bizardie
The son of Carl and Roberta Bizardie, Aiden 'Dean' Bizardie is one of the premier scorers in the state of South Dakota. Bizardie, playing on a 7-15 Todd County team knocked down 52, 3-pointers this season (game high of nine) and led his team with 22 points per game. Averaged 5 boards per game and twice went over the 40 point barrier for the Falcons.
Dylan Pourier, Douglas Patriots Junior
Douglas Patriot junior, Dylan Pourier wrapped up a terrific junior season by helping lead Travis Miller's squad to a 5th place finish in the AA tournament. Averaged 12.6 points per game while shooting 47 percent from the field. A terrific all-court player who is rock-solid on defense. Had a coming out party at the AA tournament with games of 14, 24 and 12 to lead the Patriots.
Pine Ridge junior Corey Brown (Baby Rodman)
A tireless worker on the defensive side of the ball, Brown led the entire state of South Dakota in rebounds with 14.4 rebounds per game. Won the rebounding title at Lakota Nation and several times this year had games of 20 points and 20 rebounds. Scored 15.4 points per game. Tremendous lower-body strength and has the best low post moves that South Dakota may have ever seen. Solid student with plans of attending INMED in North Dakota this summer.
Red Cloud junior Alejandro Rama
Sacred Hoops Co-Director Allan Bertram calls Rama the best point guard in South Dakota. A tremendous floor leader that helped Christian McGhee's Crusaders to a 5th place finish in the Class A state tournament. Averaged 22 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals while shooting 44 percent from the field and 34 percent from deep. An elite athlete and a terrific student, Rama will be one of the most sought after players in South Dakota for the 2019 season.
That is a wrap for the All-Native teams in South Dakota.
Sacred Hoops would like to congratulate all of the athletes, parents, coaches and programs that helped mentor these outstanding young people...
Job well done!