Bronson Koenig in Standing Rock

By Jamie Council |

Published 09/17 2016 10:53PM

Updated 09/17 2016 10:53PM

Wisconsin Badger Basketball player Bronson Koenig was in North Dakota today.
Koenig is one of 42 Division one basketball players who identify as Native American.
He was in Standing Rock today putting on a youth basketball camp and to raise awareness about protecting the Sioux Tribe's land from the Dakota Access Pipeline.

When you hear the name Bronson Koenig, you think of Badger Basketball.
But he has a fan base, based not solely on his skill, but also his heritage.
(George Gillette, 12 years old) "We try to watch every game because he's native and he's was of the only native college basketball players there is."
(Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin Basketball Player) "My culture means everything to me."
Koenig decided to visit the Standing Rock Reservation in honor of the tribe that would be most affected by the Dakota Access Pipeline.
(Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin Basketball Player) "Given this day and age, people care more about sports than what should really care about and I'm just grateful that I have the platform that I have."
(Jesse McLaughlin, Vice Chairman - Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) "From him being involved and voicing his opinion and his passion, I think it opened a lot of eyes and I'm just grateful and honored for him to come and give back to the Standing Rock Reservation."
But Saturday he was there for basketball, holding a youth camp free to the public.
(George Gillette, 12 years old) "It's really cool because it's a rare chance that I would ever get to have this moment."
(Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin Basketball Player) "Just meeting all these young native kids and just seeing the looks on their faces, it brings some joy to my life, and I'm happy I can bring some joy to theirs."
Koenig followed his dreams on the court
(George Gillette, 12 years old) "He inspires people."
... and encourages Native American youth to do the same.
(Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin Basketball Player) "I just want to come here and show them that it is possible for a Native American to make it to the highest level."
The Dakota Access pipeline has brought many water protectors to North Dakota.
But Koenig is making their voice a little louder.

Koenig also brought supplies to Cannonball for the protesters that have been there since April and have no plans of leaving anytime soon.

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