United Tribes NewsT-BIRD Hall of Fame
January 29, 2014
UTTC to honor former athletes
THUNDERBIRD HALL of FAME
BISMARCK (UTN) – United Tribes Technical College will honor some of its most notable former basketball players and athletic leaders in February.
The college will induct one entire team and nine individuals into the “Thunderbird Hall of Fame” during a banquet set for 2 p.m. on Monday, February 17 at the college in Bismarck.
The slate of honorees includes former United Tribes players and coaches who contributed significantly to the success of the athletic program.
Heading the list is the 1984-85 men’s basketball team that led UTTC to sanctioned, collegiate athletic play in the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Athletic leaders to be honored are: the college’s first athletic director, Dave Archambault Sr.; the Thunderbirds most successful coach, Kevin Finley; the college’s first activities and athletics coordinator, the late John Thunder Hawk; and the athletic program’s longest serving leader and cultural mentor, Butch Thunder Hawk.
Thunderbird players to be inducted are: sharp-shooting back-court players Val Finley and Perry White Owl, high scoring guard Barry Webster, and Lady Thunderbird standouts Kristin Bearstail and Jenna Skunk Cap.
Also to be recognized are Thunderbird players previously inducted into the hall of fame: Alan Spoonhunter, a two-time All American; the late Tanner Albers, the school’s all-time leading scorer; and the late Jason Logg, one of the top 3-point shooters in NJCAA history.
Thunderbird Hall of Fame inductees will be recognized at approximately 7:35 p.m. between the Thunderbird women and men’s basketball games scheduled on that day. Banners for each inductee will also be unveiled. All of the honoring events are open to the public.
United Tribes Technical College is an intertribal, postsecondary education facility governed by the five federally recognized tribes in North Dakota. Founded in 1969, the college provides academic, vocational and technical education and training to American Indian students, and students of all backgrounds, in a culturally diverse campus setting and online. Please visit the college website for more information: www.uttc.edu.
THUNDERBIRD HALL of FAME Schedule:
Monday, February 17
2-5 p.m. Hall of Fame Banquet, Multi-purpose room (next to gym)
6 p.m. Lady Thunderbirds host Lake Region State women
7:35 p.m. Between Games: Recognition of Hall of Fame Class; Unveiling of Banners
8:10 p.m. Thunderbirds host Lake Region State men
More info: Hunter Berg, UTTC Athletic Director, 701-425-5962, email@example.com.
THUNDERBIRD HALL of FAME
1984-85 Thunderbird Men’s Basketball Team
This team put Thunderbird basketball on the map. The ’84-85 team holds the record for the highest winning percentage in the history of Thunderbird Athletics, amassing a record 25 wins and only 4 losses. During the season, the Thunderbirds established the school record for most consecutive wins with 17 straight victories. The ’84-85 squad is considered the first true collegiate basketball team for United Tribes. It was assembled by Coach Dave Archambault Sr., who recruited a wealth of Indian basketball talent from the region’s reservations. The backcourt tandem of Val Finley and Perry White Owl was considered the finest junior college backcourt in the state. Talented and versatile front-line players Sam White Face, Charlie White Eagle and Austin Richards helped trigger the team’s fast-paced but disciplined offense with their defense and rebounding.
1984-85 Thunderbirds: Standing, from left, Head Coach Dave Archambault Sr., True Clown Jr., Terry Wolf Necklace/Dogskin, Van Buffalo, Ken Walks, Austin Richards, Curtis Black, Perry White Owl, Val Vinley and Manager “Nav” Tapio. Kneeling, at left, Mike Lawrence and Terry Hodgkiss. Not pictured Assistant Coach-John Thunder Hawk Sr., Charles White Eagle, Dave “Sam” White Face, Chuck Defender, Oris Bear Stops, and Terry Jeanotte.
|Dave Archambault Sr.
Dave Archambault Sr. established the United Tribes Thunderbirds as a National Junior College Athletic Association member, serving as Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach during the formative years of Thunderbird Athletics. His first men’s basketball team in 1984-85 gained immediate attention for the program and launched the school’s competitive athletic traditions. Archambault’s vision and work in creating sanctioned, team sports at United Tribes has remained a guiding influence on the athletic program, right down to his selection of “Thunderbirds” as the team nickname.
Kevin Finley is the most successful coach in Thunderbird athletics history, leading the men’s basketball team to two NJCAA Division II National Tournaments (8th Place in 1997-98 and 6th Place in 1998-99), and was an assistant coach on the only other national tournament team in the school’s history (8th Place in 2001-02). Finley’s ability to attract talent lead to the greatest run of winning in the school’s history behind some of the greatest individual and team performances the college has ever seen. Coach Finley is a four-time Region Coach of the Year and a two-time District Coach of the Year. He was Mon-Dak Conference Coach of the Year when his 1998-99 team won the conference title. This was the only conference championship in school history and the ’98-‘99 team holds the distinction of achieving the highest ranking in the national poll when it reached 9th.
|John Thunder Hawk
John Thunder Hawk coordinated United Tribes activities and athletics during the college’s formative years in the early 1970s. He promoted athletics and helped grow the program and the facilities, including acquisition and installation of the gymnasium wood floor. Thunder Hawk served T-Bird Athletics in many ways throughout his 35 years at United Tribes. At different times he was athletic coordinator, head coach, assistant coach and recreation director. Throughout it all he was the Thunderbirds biggest fan and best friend and father-figure to hundreds of T-Bird athletes.
|Butch Thunder Hawk
Wallace “Butch” Thunder Hawk Jr. has been a presence at Thunderbird athletic events since the inception of the program. In 2013 he marked 40 years as a United Tribes employee, teaching tribal arts and culture and earning the respect of everyone. Throughout his teaching career, he’s been a staunch supporter of T-Bird athletics and student-athletes. And he’s still serving! At every home game Butch is an early arrival, getting ready for his role as official scorer. In addition to being the T-Birds biggest fan, Butch also coached Thunderbirds Cross Country.
|Val Finley and Perry White Owl
Val Finley and Perry White Owl teamed up in the mid ‘80s to form the best junior college backcourt in the state. The dynamic duo was the scoring force during the 1984-85 season in the college run-up to playing sanctioned, collegiate athletic basketball. Their freshman campaign remains one of the T-Birds most successful ever, winning 25 games and losing only 4. Both averaged over 20 points per game while dominating the competition. During their sophomore season, the school’s first as part of the NJCAA and ND State Junior College play, they lead the T-Birds to the state championship game and sparked a string of three-straight State Title appearances. After two successful years at United Tribes, the pair continued their playing days together, taking their talents to Valley City State where they helped lead the school to an appearance in the NAIA National Tournament.
Barry Webster brought prolific scoring to the Thunderbirds. Webster routinely posted 20+ and 30+ scoring nights when suited up for the Thunderbirds. He still holds the school record for most points in a game (46 versus NDSCS) and most free throws made in a game (24 versus NDSCS). The high scoring guard helped lead one of the most remarkable runs in junior college basketball history during the 1987-88 campaign. The 8th seeded T-birds, and its “Iron Five,” engineered two consecutive upsets of the number 1 and 4 seeds in the State Junior College Tournament to earn a shot at a state championship. Webster was a First Team All-State Selection.
Kristin Bearstail helped lead the most successful season in United Tribes Women’s Basketball history in 2009-10. Her prolific offensive game was defined by her seemingly unlimited range and highlighted by her school record 123 three-point field goals made during that season. On the season, Bearstail averaged over 22 points per game. But just as impressive was her ability to set up teammates for easy baskets; she posted 5 assists per game and 3 steals per contest. She was recognized with First-Team All-Conference, All-Region and All-Region Tournament selections.
Alan Spoonhunter is the only two-time All-American to ever play for the Thunderbirds earning 1st Team All-American honors as a freshman and 2nd Team honors as a sophomore. Spoonhunter lead his team to the 1998-99 National Tournament, posting a 26-8 overall record, the most wins for a season in school history. During Spoonhunter’s two seasons with United Tribes, the T-Birds won 48 games. He led the team in scoring both years while punishing Mon-Dak and Region opponents. He finished 9th in the nation in scoring at over 21 points per game and was the best free-throw shooter in the country, shooting over 90 percent from the line.
Tanner Albers and Jason Logg (Inducted in 2010)
Tanner Albers and Jason Logg became one of the most potent offensive tandems in school history, leading United Tribes to its first-ever berth in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in their sophomore season of 1997-98. Albers was named a 1st Team All-American for his dominating play while also garnering All-conference, All-Region, and All-State honors. The smooth shooting guard remains the all-time leading scorer in T-Birds history, averaging over 25 points per game over his two seasons. Logg was also a two-time All-Conference, All-Region, and All-State selection, averaging almost 22 points per game during his two years and over 8 rebounds per game. He remains one of the top 3-point shooters in NJCAA history with an amazing 55% from beyond the arc as a sophomore, and a total of 148 three’s during that remarkable season.
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