Former Standing Rock state basketball champ working toward zero tolerance goal

TRAVIS SVIHOVEC Bismarck Tribune

Quinn Austin will step onto the basketball court Friday night under a much different spotlight than when he and teammates celebrated a state championship 25 years ago.

He and other members of the 1998 Standing Rock High School boys basketball team will be recognized for that achievement by the North Dakota High School Activities Association during the Class B Boys State Tournament. The honor comes at the same time Austin and others are pressing the association to make stricter policies on racist behavior in the wake of a late January incident involving his son and another nonwhite athlete, who is also related to Austin.

It’s a tough spot for Austin, who says he’s not comfortable being the center of attention. He hopes by appearing in a T-shirt promoting a zero tolerance policy he can make a statement “for people who don’t have a voice or somebody to speak for them.”

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“This isn’t about my son. It isn’t about my nephew. It’s not a single event,” he said. “We’re doing this to make sure this doesn’t happen to anybody anymore. All it is is hate,

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