‘Treated different’: Biased reffing hurts Native youth

Editor’s note: This story is part of three-part series on perceived anti-Native bias in high school basketball in Montana.

When Benji Crebs, then a junior basketball player on the Rocky Boy High School team, got a technical foul for slapping the backboard while blocking a shot minutes into a big game against Malta, he tried to keep his cool.

Hitting the backboard after a shot is legal, but Crebs wasn’t surprised when the whistle came. It’s a common belief in Native communities statewide – that some white referees treat Native high school basketball teams differently.

Crebs and his teammates had been coached on how to handle this.

Rocky Boy head coach Adam Demontiney encourages his team after a steal in this 2017 file photo.


“Don’t show emotions. Keep your head. Be the bigger person. Play through it. Don’t question calls.” This is the kind of advice Rocky Boy Coach Adam Demontiney gives his players.

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