Friday, October 3, 2014

Legendary basketball great Elvis Old Bull dies in vehicle rollover ...

Oct 2, 2014 12:50 AM by Scott Breen – Q2 Sports

BILLINGS – Elvis Old Bull, one of Montana’s all-time greatest basketball players, died late Tuesday morning in a single-vehicle accident near Billings.

Kassie Bulltail, 26, and Winston Pretty On Top, 51, were also killed in the crash, which occured on Interstate 90 near Arrow Creek Road. Bulltail and Pretty On Top were from Lodge Grass. Old Bull was from Pryor.

Initial reports indicated the three individuals were traveling east on Interstate 90 in an Oldsmobile Bravada. They were ejected from the vehicle before landing in the west bound lanes.

The crash was reported around 11:20 a.m.

Authorities said Old Bull was transported via Help Flight to St. Vincent Hospital following the rollover, where he was later pronounced dead.

The 42-year-old was inducted into Montana’s Indian Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. He scored 1,948 points in four seasons, averaging almost 20 points a game for Lodge Grass. Old Bull also led the Indians to three consecutive Class B championships between 1988-90 and was named State Tournament MVP all three years.

In one championship game, Old Bull scored nine points in 36 seconds to rally the Indians in a come-from-behind victory.

Sports Illustrated listed Old Bull as one of the 50 greatest sports figures in Montana during the 20th century. He had 484 career assists, including 22 in a single high school game.

Former Shepherd High School basketball coach Jim Jenkins and assistant Pete Flotlin remembered the headaches of trying to simply slow down Old Bull. Here’s how they explained his aura Wednesday afternoon to Q2.

JJ: “As a sophomore he was one of the best players if not the best in the league, and his ability to play all five positions were just unparalleled.

PF: One of the first things I remembered was when he’d come into our gym it was almost like he was some kind of a, a celebrity. Our little kids, our junior high kids, and our elementary kids instead of coming over and talking to our better players, when Elvis walked in the building they just glommed around him like he was Elvis Presley. You know, I mean they were all over him. Ah, and he was really good with them too. He didn’t shun them or tell them to get out of the way or anything like that.

JJ: He could post you up and he could play point guard. Any position on the floor, and anytime you tried to match a defensive player with Elvis he immediately would take advantage.

PF: He wanted the ball in all those situations, and they wanted to give him the ball. I mean everything kind of ran through him.

JJ: The record at the Metra between high school basketball teams, we held when Elvis was playing for Lodge Grass and they had the streak of winning the state championships. Why, ten thousand eight hundred people in the Metra.

Scott Breen: Did kids want to guard him?

PF: Uh, we had a couple kids that relished that opportunity, but I think we had a couple kids who thought, ‘please don’t ask me,’ you know, haha.”

Following high school, Old Bull received several college scholarship offers but declined them all.

However, during his induction to the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame, his advice to kids was making education a priority.

Old Bull’s son, Ejay, told this to Q2:

“It is a sad time for the Old Bull family. We are asking for prayers to help our family through this time of despair. This tragic event has rocked our community, family and friends with heartbreak and grief.

We would like to send our deepest condolences and prayers to the other families who have also lost loved ones.

My father was a very special man who touched the lives of everybody he met. He was a legend to our community and strong advocate of higher education.

He will forever be known for all of outstanding basketball achievements in Montana and throughout Indian country. Elvis Old Bull, Sr, will be dearly and greatly missed by all of his friends and family.”

Legendary basketball great Elvis Old Bull dies in vehicle rollover – KTVQ Billings News


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