April 12, 2013 –
MAYETTA: Slam dunk champion Kenny Dobbs and movie actor/DJ Brian Frejo and are both in the area this weeknd and giving motivational speeches and performances today at the Kickapoo Nations School (Powhattan) and Royal Valley High School (Hoyt) this evening at 7 p.m. They are also planning to participate in the first Bane Battle National Championship Tournament being held at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence.
The Bane Battle tournament is being held as a memorial tournament for Ralph Tecumseh (PBPN) and Phil Homeratha who both died of cancer last year. Tecumseh was a PBPN member and avid basketball fan and player, and Homeratha was a long time basketball coach at Haskell. The tournament is scheduled to begin this evening in Lawrence and will run through Sunday. According to Cody Wilson, one of the organizers of the event, Dobbs will give a slam dunk performance around 9 p.m. on Saturday in the gym at Haskell. In addition, there are a lot of other events scheduled during the tournament like a Golden Age Exhibition game (that may include soem PBPN members), a 3-point contest, and a slam dunk contest.
Dobbs (Choctaw), 28, and 6’3″, is from Phoenix and recently won the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown in Orlando, Fla. that was hosted by LeBron James. He has also been drafted by the NBA D-League and out of 128 players was the only one who has not attended college. He has a 48-inch vertical dunk in comparison to Michael Jordon’s 44 inch vertical dunk and Dobbs has a goal in life is to become the best dunking champion in the world.
Dobbs told the News that he had never been in Kansas or at Haskell and that he welcomed the opportunity to come and offer his support for the Bane Battle Tournament. Additionally, he is on a motivational speaking tour around the country where he is telling his personal story. When he was 15 years old he dropped out of school and got involved in alcohol and drugs and did some jail time. Eventually, he was able to overcome his addiction through a support network of family and friends and his faith in God and since that time been combining his athletic talents and story being an ambassador for bettering youth particularly in Indian Country.
Dobb’s performances can be seen on YouTube and he has hopes to play professional basketball for the Dallas Mavericks in the future.
Brian Frejo (Pawnee/Seminole) is also a cultural activist and motivational speaker who is also in the area lending his support for the Bane Battle National Championship Tournament this weekend. He is speaking and performing, along with Dobbs, and plans to be at Haskell Indian Nations University this weekend. On February 14 he was on the reservation as a disc jockey for the 80s Family Prom event. Frejo has appeared in several movies like Last of the Mohicans.
One of the major sponsors for the speaking engagements at the schools is a Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation IASAP Grant #2009-AC-BX-0006.