NBA star sends message of support for Lapwai basketball team

Posted at 9:05 AM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 09:43:42-05

LAPWAI, Idaho — UPDATE (3/8): The Wildcats won their 11th state title in program history, routing the Riverstone Otters 82-60 in the championship game. You can check out more of the team's big celebration here.

UPDATE (3/5): The Lapwai Boys Basketball team is moving forward in the state tournament. The Wildcats face the Riverstone Otters Friday at 2 p.m. for the state title at the Ford Idaho Center.

Original: The Idaho High School Boys Basketball State Championship Tournament is underway and one team is getting a special shout-out from an NBA star.

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving sent a video to the Lapwai Wildcats before they hit the court for their first-round game against Liberty Charter Wednesday night.

"Peace and love, peace and love, and I am thankful and grateful to be making this video for my brothers, for my relatives, for my family. Nimiipuu Lapwai," said Irving.

Irving, whose late mother was Sioux and was given the name Little Mountain during a ceremony in 2018, is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and is active in philanthropy efforts for the Lakota people. He has formed a bond with the cousin of Lapwai's assistant coach, Brooklyn Baptiste, who shared the video.

The shout-out worked and Lapwai won their first found game 81 to 35 over Liberty Charter. They will face Grace High School Thursday night at 7 in the semifinal round.