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Forum News Service, Published February 19 2013

Red Lake Nation College adding basketball

RED LAKE, Minn. - The Red Lake Nation College is looking to raise money and its profile with a men’s basketball program that tips off Saturday with an exhibition game.

In December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program announced the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe will receive a $21 million loan that will help build a new college and government center – a project that will create a new hub for the community on the shores of Lower Red Lake north of Bemidji.

Dan King, the college’s president, said they hope to raise about $10,000 from an exhibition game Saturday against Turtle Mountain Community College.

Currently the Red Lake Nation College can hold about 130 students, which will increase to about 525 once the new school is built, King said. The basketball team, nicknamed the Migizi (Eagles), will play on the court in the current college building, which just received a new floor in the past few months.

College President Dan King said women make up 65 percent of the current enrollment. He hopes that a basketball team will generate interest from men who wouldn’t otherwise go to college there.