When Preston Wynne, a 6'1" senior guard from the Spokane Tribe in Wellpinit, Wash., scored 20 points to lead Vanguard (Calif.) to a 70--65 victory over Emmanuel (Ga.) for the NAIA Division I title last month, it was a win for his entire reservation—and for anyone who's traveled the long road. Wynne, 26, took six years off between high school and junior college to work construction and take care of his kids and his mom, who has multiple sclerosis, all the while practicing his jump shot at the community center. The first Native American to be selected tournament MVP, Wynne now hopes to play pro ball here or overseas while completing his psychology degree. "I want to change the dynamic of the reservation and help people get into college," Wynne says. "Hopefully, seeing me be successful, everyone will see it's not that hard."
This is an article from the April 14, 2014 issue