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Next Generation of Basketball Stars Make Their College Choices

By Curtis DeCora

Rising Stars Basketball


Rising Stars Basketball, a local sports club created to help northern Wisconsin athletes realize their maximum potential while also helping them strive to become college-bound student athletes.  Rising Stars Basketball, operated by Lac Courte Oreilles tribal member, Curtis DeCora, started the organization in 2020, and since has helped four athletes realize their dreams of becoming college basketball athletes. 


Tyson Radermacher, a Freshman attending the Haskell Indian Nations University had been part of the Rising Stars Basketball program since inception.  Since 2021, Radermacher has been doing various workouts, training, and working on both his academic and athletic abilities.  Radermacher is the all-time leader in points, steals, and assists for the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School.  After receiving zero offers from colleges, he decided to take a gap year and focus on his grades, training, and hitting the weight room.  A move he very much felt necessary and proved effective.  Radermacher is a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.


Jesse Hanlon, a graduate in the class of 2022 from the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School is making his way to the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point at Marshfield to join the Marauders Men’s Basketball team, and pursue a degree in Science and Natural Resources.  Hanlon was a Third Team All-Conference selection his senior year averaging 16.7 points per game, 8.7 rebounds per game, and 2.3 assists per game.  Hanlon is a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.


Curtis Thompson Jr, a graduate in the class of 2024 from Winter School District is making his way to the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point at Marshfield to also join the Marauders Men’s Basketball team.  Thompson will also be pursuing an Associates in Science and Natural Resources. Thompson was a big part of helping the Winter Warriors set multiple school records in the 2023-2024 season.  The Warriors had a historical season winning a school record 20 games, averaged 80.3 points per game, set a school record in team points twice with 112, and 116,  and led all Division 5 schools in points, rebounds, steals, assists, and finished 2nd in blocked shots.  Thompson is a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. 


Owen Corbine-Nelis, a graduate in the class of 2024 from Ashland School District is also making his way to the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point at Marshfield to join the Marauders Men’s Basketball team.  Corbine-Nelis is pursuing an Associates Degree in Human Services.  As the captain and starting point guard of the Ashland Oredockers, Owen led the Oredockers to a 8-16 record while averaging 8 ppg, 3 rpg and 3 apg.  Corbine-Nelis is a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

 

Originally, the club was started to help aspiring Native athletes reach the next level of their game, and optimize the opportunities to see more court time.  As the athletes continued to improve, college became a strong possibility.  Today, there are more than 60 athletes registered as Rising Stars Basketball Club members, of which more than 35% of the athletes are of Native American descent. 

 

Rising Stars Basketball is a non-profit sports club that is identified as the player-centered skill development program for everyone.  What makes this program unique is that everyone can join.  There are no try-outs, players will never be cut.  The motto suggests, “We don’t recruit players, we make them.” which indicates the goal is to develop the athletes on and off the court.  Rising Stars Basketball offers programming 12 months out of the year with Super Saturday sessions, which are 2-hour small group training sessions focused on helping the athlete develop the foundational skills.  The 3x3 League rolled out in 2024 and saw 22 athletes participate from Mellen, Winter, Hayward, LCO and Birchwood.  The cornerstone program is the 10-week summer program that combines skills training sessions with AAU basketball participation.  The athletes work for 10 weeks developing new skills, then move into tournament play with their age groups and compete against some of the best players in the midwest via AAU tournaments.  To learn more about Rising Stars Basketball, visit www.rising-stars.us.

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