Phoenix Freshman Tesha Buck a Rare Bird in College Basketball

By Ryan Rodig |

Published 01/24 2014 10:16PM

Updated 01/24 2014 10:39PM

(WFRV-TV) - Green Bay Phoenix freshman Tesha Buck is a "rare bird" in women's college basketball.

That's not just because in her first season she's second on her team in scoring, rebounds, and assists, while also leading the team in three-pointer and the Horizon League is assist-to-turnover-ratio. A tattoo on her torso of a basketball in a feather with the words "Cante Wasaga Win" (translated to "Strong Hearted Woman") gives a big clue where she comes from and the real reason she's such a rarity in college hoops.

Buck grew up on the Prairie Island Indian Community Dakota-Sioux reservation in Minnesota before going on to become the all-time leading scorer at Red Wing High School.  According to data released by the NCAA last year, only 0.5% of women's basketball participants across all divisions were American Indian or Alaskan Native.  In Division I that equates to only 23 women out of a total 4,972 players.

"I think a lot of their parents tell them that it's hard to leave the reservation so they never try," said Buck when asked why that number was so low.  "It's exciting my story is out there and hopefully it inspires people."

Buck was recently featured in an article on espnW.

"I think a lot of people, I guess the kids just don't have good people to look up to," added Buck.  "There's a lot of great people to look up to."

The freshman is realizing that she is becoming one of those people in Green Bay.

"It's been great," Buck says of her time in the area.  "There's been so many Oneida that have been here at games that come up to me after a game just saying 'I'm proud to be native because of you.  So that's a great honor."

Her work on the court has caught the eye of coaches and teammates alike

"She sees a lot of things that we don't even see," said junior guard Megan Lukan.  "Me, myself and this is my 4th year.  She's very talented, very skilled and has a very high basketball IQ."

Buck appaears ready to step up and help GB turn around what has been a slow start by their standards, while also shouldering some extra responsibility off the floor as well.

"To have people look up to you is something special, so I take that as a good thing."

Copyright Copyright 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.