We’re continuing our series on “Change Makers” in our communities this week, by introducing you to two former elite basketball players who have combined their love of the game with the goal of building confidence in young women.
They formed a traveling basketball team for third graders, called “Her Story,” which exposes the kids to travel-team-level competition and gives them the chance to write their own stories on the court.
Preston Wise Spirit and Micheal Lenoir formed “Her Story” three years ago. This is the second squad of Her Story which formed last September. The goal is to teach the girls the game and respect each other on the court.
For those who watch the team play it becomes apparent very quickly that the girls are serious competitors. “They’ll dive on the floor, they’ll be in there battling,” said Wise Spirit.
Amya Quickbear has been on the new squad since it started last September.
“When we did our first game it was 30 to nothing,” explained Quick Bear.
Since then, the team has gone a long way to becoming a powerhouse.
“Now we can beat more teams that are in higher grades,” said Quick Bear.
Diamond Wise Spirit is a more recent addition to the team.
“It’s going good. We beat some teams. We can play fourth graders and fifth graders,” said Diamond Wise Spirit.
The team displays an incredible drive. They’ve won two tournaments and placed top three in several others.
“The sky is the limit with these girls. So, if you teach them at an early age they’ll learn all of that. It’s already embedded in their head, but at the same time they’re having fun,” said Assistant Coach Micheal Lenoir.
Lenoir says the team is gaining notoriety within the girls travel basketball community for being strong, fast, and confident.
“Just to give them the confidence to grow within themselves. Because I tell them all the time if you can get coached and hollered at by me you can literally do anything you want because words don’t matter. You can literally go out there and just be who you want to be,” said Preston Wise Spirit.
The girls were on a winning streak when COVID-19 began, but then they had to cancel a tournament they were going to host in Bismarck.
They are currently practicing in the World War Memorial Building in downtown Bismarck and preparing for when tournaments start back up again.