|The story of Fort Yukon|
In this story of Fort Yukon's basketball team, we must remember the fact that they are in the interior of Alaska much further north then places we have heard of like Fairbanks, or Anchorage. Fort Yukon, was built in World War 2 if my memory serves me correct, but if not it's not real big deal. The Fort saw a big boom in the 1970's when oil and natural resources were found. The money was flowing in, and there were little problems then. That is a far cry from what it is today, outsiders have been known to call it "Fort Yuk."
|Fort Yukon marked in red.|
The book also focuses on issues that impact all Native Americans like the fact of the US government drilling for natural gas and oil on their lands. The things the Native Americans have been fighting against the government for years. It would be my belief that at some point, we need to leave them alone. Let them live on their land, and go find natural gas somewhere else. Have we not done enough to uproot them from their lands in the past?
A third main theme of the book, has to be the fact that some people in the Fort, wish that the money was spent more on academics then on the team. A huge chunk of the schools yearly budget is given to the basketball program. The teams gets $20,000 from the budget to pay for basketball related activities, but it is not nearly enough. Think about your high school, think about the teams you play, it's probably within a 20 mile radius of your high school. The Fort has to charter airplanes to fly to away games because some of the places are too far to drive.
Not only are they chartering airplanes to get to away games. They have to rent vans once they get to the destination, and some times drive 2 more hours because there is not a airport in the town they are playing. They save money by sleeping in classrooms of their opponents, or in churches or other buildings if they are playing in a tournament. Any fund raiser you can think of, they have probably done. The Fort loves their team and would hate to see it go.
|The airport, run by Coach Dave and his wife.|
I do not want to get into the season that they discuss in the latter part of the book because if I tell you what happens then you are not going to read the book. I think if you read the book, you should be mindful of the important themes. It is not to say that on some level this team holds the Fort together. Its funny how sports bring people together, and how heavily it is leaned on. This team is very important to its community. This is a great book, I really think you should read it if you are looking for something inspiring to read.