At basketball tournament, the National Anthem means more in Lakota

Another installment in “why tournament time is the best time”:

At the South Dakota Boys Class A Basketball Tournament in Rapid City, S.D., on Friday night, Steven Wilson had the honor of singing the National Anthem. And those in attendance had the honor of hearing it.

He sang in the Lakota language.

I have never seen this before but I'm really glad I did. The Star-Spangled Banner sung in the Lakota language by Steven Wilson from Red Cloud. I am the PA Announcer at the South Dakota Boys Class A Basketball Tournament in Rapid City, SD. I handed Steven Wilson the mic and told him I wanted to record him. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard. I would love for the world to see this and have Steven sing it on a National stage, big league ball game or on Ellen DeGeneres's show.

Posted by Kevin Phillips on Friday, March 16, 2018

I’ve been singing the national anthem (in Lakota) for about three years now,” Wilson tells the Argus Leader. “Whenever it hits a bigger platform that wasn’t just a Native American audience, it shocked a lot of people. I feel like whenever I sing that song in Lakota, it has a bigger meaning behind it.”

“That song being sung in the Lakota language, it represents a lot more than I could even imagine to a lot of different people,” he said. “One of those is giving a voice to a nation, not just the Lakota, but all the Native Americans within the United States. That voice and that representation.”

“So many people had a positive response to (the song). For that, I’m really thankful. That was the whole idea behind the song is to represent the people, and it did just that. It’s about the people and about going out there and representing them, and for that I’m really thankful.”

There are only an estimated 6,000 people who speak the Lakota language.