Sportsmanship Speaks LOUD in Montana High School Basketball









I’ve been invited to come to Montana and speak at Cut Bank High School and Conrad High School on Friday, March 1 and Monday, March 4.

I arrived just in time for the boys basketball sectionals to start too.  Why would Peter Hamilton, high school principal at Cut Bank High School schedule me on the same weekend?  I don’t know, but I’ll tell you, it certainly works out well for me.  As a former high school basketball coach this is a great opportunity to reflect and watch basketball.  My first question was, “What kind of talent do they have this far north in Montana from schools with the population of 170 high school students?”

Well, I shouldn’t have judged.  I shouldn’t have been skeptical.

There is talent and plenty of it.  Congrats to all the teams, players, fans, coaches, and schools that have showed up in Cut Bank for this years tournament.  The first game I watched was Malta versus Fairfield (if I remember correctly).  Great passing.  Great ball movement.  Great moving without the ball.  Very unselfish play.  Strong, quick, and talented players.  I couldn’t help but be impressed with both teams.

I actually thought, “I’m not sure the team I coached could have competed with this group of young men.”  They were that good.  Very impressed!









As I watched and witnessed these young men, the bands, cheerleaders, and fans, I couldn’t help but wonder how far some of these schools traveled to Cut Bank to play in the tournament.  Some of these schools traveled 300-400 miles, which I found out wasn’t uncommon.  I guess in Montana, they’re used to traveling and miles.  Then, you’d look at the buses they travel in.  Most Class B schools have buses that cost $380,000 like Conrad High School.  Other schools like Cut Bank High School has a brand new one with the cost of $500,000.  I guess they have pretty good budgets out here.

What impressed me the most was the great sportsmanship and character that I witnessed.  As an outsider or a guest, I often watch the character and sportsmanship of the schools I am about to speak to.  As a youth motivational speaker and teen life coach, I want to see what kind of community or school I am speaking at.  You watch things differently as a Youth Speaker and former coach I guess.

Both teams, the players, coaches, and fans were great.  Players from different teams helping players from the opposing teams get up after they had a hard play.  At the end of the game they didn’t just shake hands, they actually shook hands with everyone.  It was quite impressive.

In short, I wanted to share my thoughts of Montana High School Basketball Tournament Play.  I am impressed and honored to be able to take this event in this weekend.  I hope the communities and schools are proud of their players. As a visitor, I am impressed and I am not easily impressed a lot of the time.

Well, I guess I should start thinking of the reason I am here . . .time to motivate the teens of Cut Bank High School and Conrad High School.  Let’s do it!  The basketball is just a treat.  Time to go to work.

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Author:Jeff Yalden, Youth Motivational Speaker

Youth Motivational Speaker & Teen Life Coach. Since 1992, Jeff Yalden has been mesmerizing audiences with his engaging style and passion. Jeff is a story-teller that every where he speaks, he guarantees he is real and in the moment, perfect for every audience. He is one of a kind. He's interactive and nobody pours as much energy and passion into their programs that Jeff does. Guaranteed, Jeff will be a defining moment and a highlight of your students lives.

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