Champions in more ways than one

By Mick Holien

There is no doubt that the state of Montana in general and Indian reservations in particular suffer from one of the highest suicide rates in the country.

As an adult I often inquire of others in my circle “just when taking one’s own life become an option.

But while many times such an act is shrouded in secrecy, because of social media the kids almost instantly learn of a suicide along with the usual Ws of Who, what, where and why along with How.

Recognizing that 48 wins over two state championship seasons packed some thunder, in the midst of divisional and state tournament action, the Arlee boys basketball team decided to carve an indelible mark on the Class C ranks in addition to triumphs.

Learning, as most in the Mission Valley did, that a student at nearby Two Eagle River School had killed themselves, Warrior Coach Zanen Pitts conspired to produce a video featuring his players in other than basketball and dedicate their post-season effort to the Pablo school.

We want those students to know that we are there for them, said Pitts as we return

Upon advancing to State Pitts posted a second video this time including some basketball prowess.

The Country was the benefit of the second video seen already by a million people, shared 600,000 times and featured in a story in USA Today’s sports section.

The video evokes passion in encouraging students to fight beyond feelings of helplessness, fight for your brothers in sport by rising up and resisting such temptation.

“The perfect life portrayed on line is not realty,” said Pitts, encouraging other reservation students to help spread the message and listing the suicide prevention hotline of 800-273-8255.

IMO will post the link for you to see and repost.

Just sayin’

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