Counting Coup: A True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn
In Native American tradition, a warrior gained honor and glory by "counting coup" -- touching his enemy in battle and living to tell the tale. This is a modern story of...
In this extraordinary work of journalism, Larry Colton journeys into the world of Montana's Crow Indians and follows the struggles of a talented, moody, charismatic young woman named Sharon LaForge, a gifted basketball player and a descendant of one of George Armstrong Custer's Indian scouts. But "Counting Coup" is far more than just a sports story or a portrait of youth. It is a sobering exposé of a part of our society long since cut out of the American dream.
Along the banks of the Little Big Horn, Indians and whites live in age-old conflict and young Indians grow up without role models or dreams. Here Sharon carries the hopes and frustrations of her people on her shoulders as she battles her opponents on and off the court. Colton delves into Sharon's life and shows us the realities of the reservation, the shattered families, the bitter tribal politics, and a people's struggle against a belief that all their children -- even the most intelligent and talented -- are destined for heartbreak. Against this backdrop stands Sharon, a fiery, undaunted competitor with the skill to dominate a high school game and earn a college scholarship. Yet getting to college seems beyond Sharon's vision, obscured by the daily challenge of getting through the season -- physically and ps
Basketball and life on the Little Big Horn
By Mary G. Longorio "Texasbookgirl" - November 25, 2000
Larry Colton travels into Montana's Crow country in pursuit of a story of how young men on the reservation (the rez) are using basketball as a way to regain hope and honor. A chance sighting of a graceful and instinctive female player in a pickup game changes all that. After seeing Sharon LaForge, Colton switches the focus of his quest and becomes a shadow of the Hardin High Lady Bulldogs, in their quest to make it to the Montana high school championships. He is allowed unlmited access to the team, their practices, invited into some of their homes, tutored by some of the locals in the ways of the rez, and the delicate relationships between whites and Indians. This is a glimpse into a world I have not known much about. With unemployment, alcoholism, physical abuse as the norm, it is easy to see how a community can pin its hopes for redemption and validation on the slim shouldres of high school girls....and Sharon's family is expecting victory to redeem them from tragedy and... read more
A Cautionary Tale That Will Break Your Heart
By Lorraine Berry - September 12, 2000
This book is a multi-layered tale that will take you on a roller coaster of an emotional ride. If anyone is looking for evidence that racism continues to have a profound impact on the way that we relate to one another as human beings, look no further than this tremendous book. Larry Colton spent 15 months with members of the Crow Indian tribe in Montana. He followed the fortunes of the Hardin High School girls' basketball team, a team comprising an almost equal number of white and Indian players. Despite the immense talent of Sharon LaForge, an Indian, it is clear that the deck is stacked against her being recruited to play Division I basketball. But, Colton makes clear that this is not a simple case of prejudice that prevents Sharon from succeeding, it is an environment where she is worshipped as the savior of her family and team on one hand, but constantly held to lower standards by the school. Not surprisingly, while she shines on the basketball court, off the court... read more
An extraordinary book
By gary blackwood - September 30, 2000
Larry Colton tries hard to remain objective and detached in writing his account of life on the rez, and of Sharon LaForge's attempts to transcend it by excelling at basketball. He fails miserably in his attempt--getting caught up in Sharon's struggle, telling us about his own life, injecting his opinions about how the coach should be coaching--and the book is infinitely better for it. An objective, detached account would not have been nearly as effective and affecting. We really come to care about Sharon, as Colton did, and root for her, and are crushed when things don't work out in the heartwarming way we've come to expect from innumerable sports movies. You don't have to love basketball, or even like it particularly, to love this book. It's as well written and dramatic as the best of novels, but it's far more memorable than most novels because it's true.
In 1997 Gloria Grow started a sanctuary for chimps retired from biomedical research on her farm outside Montreal. For the indomitable Gloria, caring for thirteen great apes is like presiding over a ...