NativeVision coaches recognize the struggle


Amanda Laurenceau knows what it’s like to have to make a basketball goal out of scrap.

Special to the Times | Ray Landry
NativeVision coach Allison McNeill demonstrates a shooting technique during the basketball clinic at Shiprock High School on June 29.

A current resident of Kansas City, Missouri, Laurenceau was born and raised in New York, and grew up with few opportunities.

“I grew up in New York and my first basketball hoop was a milk crate; we just cut the bottom part out and tied it to a fence,” she said. “I know what it means to have coaches help you because I had AAU coaches that helped open doors for me.”

Laurenceau showed up at the 22nd Annual NativeVision camp last week hoping to be one of those coaches to the nearly 400 campers who attended the camp.

Laurenceau was one about 60 coaches and one of a handful of new coaches at the camp.

Two days into the camp, she had nothing but good things to say about her experience.

“Its’s really impressive because everybody’s really nice here; parents, kids,” she said. “It’s all for the kids and giving back, because a lot of times kids don’t get that opportunity.”

It was the first time Laurenceau had visited an Indian reservation.

She played college basketball for Park University in Missouri and now serves as an assistant coach.

Laurenceau said in just two days of the camp she found herself relating to many of the participants and found it important to share her story.

“When you grow up in a neighborhood that’s not the greatest, like I did in New York, basketball was your getaway,” she said. “I want to share my love with the kids because not all kids get the same opportunity.”

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Categories: Sports
Tags: NativeVision

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at or via cell at (505) 686-0769.