Dale Brown is the winningest basketball coach in LSU history, with two Final Four trips during 25 years of storied success at the Baton Rouge, Louisiana SEC university. Last week, Brown was inducted into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame. And he also received rare honors from Indian country last week, in his home state of North Dakota.
The Standing Rock Sioux honored the Minot native by giving him a Lakota name, presenting him with a tribal eagle feather and he was adopted into a Standing Rock family. Brown's Indian name is Ohiti Ke Mani, which means "Walks Brave."
"It was quite a surprise, the event was really beautiful," Brown told The Times-Picayune. "They took me to the reservation in a valley with big hills surrounding, a river in the background, a wonderful day. It was a very spiritual event, they are really a spiritual people.
"I grew up with Native Americans. I'm honored and humbled."
According to The Times-Picayune, Brown was invited to participate in the rare ceremony by tribal member and North Dakota Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Scott Davis. Because of his numerous visits, speeches and basketball camps held throughout North Dakota, Brown has great stature among the Lakotas.
"Dale has been all that and then some, an advocate for us," Davis said. "It's not a made up name that we gave him. It's one that is prayed over and well thought out.
"For our tribe, it's a special occasion and very rare. It's the first one my family has held. We allow a name for people who have done good deeds for our people."