St. Joseph’s Indian School Student Takes Third Place at State Free Throw Contest

Jevjuan, an eighth grader at St. Joseph’s Indian School, recently took part in an intense battle to the podium during the State Free Throw Contest.

Jevjuan rested his toe precisely in front of the free throw line. He had one more shot to shoot before he could allow any thoughts to enter his mind. He took a few dribbles, a few breaths and stared at the hoop. One final shot was all that he had left. He brought the orange, perfectly round ball up to his chest and followed through with one fluid motion, flicking his wrist and holding it. Jevjuan held his breath, frozen like a statue while he watched the ball and net collide. Listening to that satisfying sound he has heard so many times before … Swoosh … Nothing but net.

Jevjuan’s body relaxed as he wiped the sweat from his brow. However, he knew the competition was not over and he was heading into a tie-breaker round.

Jevjuan, an eighth grader at St. Joseph’s Indian School, competed at the State Free Throw Contest on Sunday, March 3 at the Armory Gym in Chamberlain, SD. He competed against seven other talented boys who — like himself — had to win their local and district competitions in order to compete in the contest.

“I was super nervous to compete at the State Free Throw Contest. I was way more nervous than when I competed at the local and district competitions,” said Jevjuan.

During the state contest, each boy had the chance to shoot 25 free throws. The first place winner went to a boy who shot 23 out of 25 free throws. The second place winner scored 20 for 25 free throws. Jevjuan tied with two other boys, shooting 18 out of 25 free throws. In order to earn third place, he had to go into a tie-breaker round with the two boys.

Jevjuan and the two boys went into two nail-biting tie-breaker rounds. In the first round, all three boys tied again, each scoring four out of the five free throws. Going into another tie-breaker round, Jevjuan knew in order to earn third place, this would be the moment where he would need to persevere.

“Going into the last tie-breaker round, I hoped my hard work would pay off. An hour before the competition even started, Evan (a St. Joseph’s Rec Center Associate) let me use the Rec Center, so I could warm up,” said Jevjuan. “I shot around 200 free throws before the competition even started.”

In the last tie-breaker round, Jevjuan scored the most free throws, putting him at a third place finish at the State Free Throw Competition. With his hard work and dedication, he hit four for five free throws, while his competitors hit three and two out of five.

Jevjuan, second from right, stands with the other place winners during the State Free Throw Contest.

“After the competition, I was a little mad because I didn’t get first place. I tried to get first, but I am still proud of myself that I got third,” said Jevjuan.

The State Free Throw Contest taught Jevjuan that great accomplishments come from practice and hard work. He is hoping there is a high school State Free Throw Contest he can work toward competing in next year. He is looking forward to getting back into the St. Joseph’s Rec Center and perfecting his shot.

Evan mentioned how it has been an honor coaching Jevjaun. He said Jevjaun has immensely improved his basketball skills, but also has matured into a wonderful young man.

“This year, as an eighth grader, we told him he was expected to be a leader and it is something he took upon immediately without any need for reminders,” said Evan. “I am proud of Jevjaun’s free throw accomplishment, but not surprised. He sets goals for himself and goes out and achieves them.”

The Rec Center is where ambitions start and achievements are accomplished. It is the foundation for many athlete success stories. Like in this story, Jevjuan was able to put in extra time and effort because of access to the Rec Center.

Here at St. Joseph’s Indian School, we are so grateful and excited for the ongoing Rec Center renovation and expansion project. This project will create more opportunities and structural space for all of our Lakota (Sioux) students.

To find out more about St. Joseph’s Rec Center Renovation and Expansion project, visit You can also follow us on Facebook for video and photo updates as they happen. Philámayaye — thank you — for your support!

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 90 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

2 thoughts on “St. Joseph’s Indian School Student Takes Third Place at State Free Throw Contest”

  1. Way to go Jevjuin!!!!!!!!!!! All my boys played basketball when they were growing up and my wife and i enjoyed watching the games!!!! wish we could have been there to see you compete. great going and keep on playing the game, you are very good!!!!!!! take care jim and carol

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