Mattress Firm Student Athlete of the Week: Box Elder's Lilly Gop - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Mattress Firm Student Athlete of the Week: Box Elder's Lilly Gopher

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Lilly Gopher is well-known in the Class C community. The 5'11" guard primarily directs Box Elder's offense - but she plays all around the court and averages more than sixteen points per game.

Lilly Gopher is also well-known in the Chippewa Cree Tribe. When Lilly isn't giving it her all in athletics, or maintaining her 3.86 GPA, she serves as the Rocky Boy Senior Powwow Princess.

"We represent our tribe, invite people to come to our powwows, represent our community," Lilly explained. 

Each powwow combines celebration and cultural pride with social gatherings in Native American communities. Through powwows, Lilly represents her ancestry in the 21st century. 

"Well I think she shows strong leadership, she's very proud of our culture and heritage here," said Box Elder head coach Joel Rosette.

"It really makes me proud," Lilly said. "I'm not only representing my school, my family, but I'm also representing my whole reservation."

Lilly was selected as Senior Princess because of her skill and knowledge of culture and powwow dancing. Now the honor allows her to encourage, support, and inspire while being a positive role model to her tribe, the youth, and all the communities she travels to in the United State and Canada.

"I think she does a good job of that - with our younger girls. In our practices, she takes them under her wing and help them as much as she can," said Coach Rosette. "Her role as senior princess is to promote that."

One thing the Chippewa Cree Tribe can count on is that no matter where Lilly travels, she will serve her culture with pride.

"I think it's important to have strong leaders and people who are willing to step out from the norm and be the face of a different thing, so she's one of those people and I think our girls rally around that," Coach Rosette added.