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Oklahoma State guard Waters wants to open doors for Native American players

Kiowa Tribal member Lindy Waters III has found success on the court for the Cowboys, but questions why he doesn’t see more Native American hoopers at the highest level. Why are so many capable Native American basketball players constantly getting overlooked? 

“I just don’t think that Native Americans are looked at on a scale for athletics,” said Waters, who is part Kiowa and part Cherokee. “That really stands out to me because I’ve played with great Native American basketball players. They can shoot the ball, they’re really unselfish. They know how to play. Our numbers should be higher than they are.”

According to the NCAA statistics, there were 14 Native American men’s players last season across the 351 teams in Division I.

Waters averaged 12.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists through 32 games last season. He is just shy 175 points from joining the 1,000 point club for his collegiate career.

Waters and his father, Lindy Jr., put on a series of camps for the Kiowa and Comanche Nations and tribal nations in the area. He is helping provide hope but showing the next generation that they can do it too.

“It’s who I am,” Waters said. “It’s who my parents have taught me to be. I need to respect who I am. Being Native American, you can just kind of say that you are Indian, or you can actually go out there and get involved in things.”

Matthew Komalty, chairman of the Kiowa Tribe and a former high school coach at Apache, said Waters is helping other Native American kids by running camps but also making the most of his opportunity in college.

“We’ve had many great athletes walking around,” he said. “He’s opening a door for Native American children. They needed that.”

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