Counting Coup: A True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn

Nov 15th, 2001 | By | Category: 13-2: The Power of Partnerships, Media Reviews

New York: Warner Books, 2000

Review by Robin Jones

Larry Colton’s journalistic work, Counting Coup, raises doubt about the teller, even while it proves a good and meaningful tale. Colton focuses on the season’s tribulations and triumphs for the Hardin Lady Bulldogs, a young women’s high school basketball team. Basketball gives Crow player Sharon LaForge, her teammates, her coach, and her community a sense of purpose and hope.

The team members (Native and non-Native) confront attitude, alcohol, drugs, sex, racism, abuse, and sexism in sports and their own families. Their camaraderie is bolstered and sundered by their own personalities and the tension of the game.

The reader’s attention is centered on the Hardin team and the politics and personalities of the Crow reservation but distracted by Colton’s personal reflections about sports, race, and his own standing with the team.

Robin Jones is professor of English and career and placement advisor at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. She played basketball in high school and watches the Women’s National Basketball Association competition.

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