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Hoop Dreams Coming True

Hoop Dreams Coming True
November 18
08:26 2020

Hoop Dreams Coming True

By John Christian Hopkins


What Navajo women’s basketball player is most likely to score the game-winning basket in a ‘Thai’ game?

That would be 23-year-old Lalia Kwan Tate.

Born in Ts’ah Bii Kin (“TSAH-BAH-KIN”), Tate dreamed of playing college basketball. It looked like her dream would come true at Walla Walla University in Washington State, but two years ago she tore her ACL.

After a long recovery she fought her way back on the court – this time earning a four-year full scholarship to play for Bangkok University in Thailand.

Tate has a Navajo father and Thai mother.

The torn ACL came during Tate’s second season for Walla Walla – and just after she was asked if she was interested in playing in Thailand. Her forced time off the court was anguish, not just the physical pain, but also the mental strain of maybe losing the ability to play the game she loves.

She got through it with a lot of self-analysis and meditation.

After a year of rehab, Tate needed another year to get back to playing shape. Bangkok University’s college basketball season begins January 21.

The language barrier is something Tate is working on. Her mother, Kwan, even came with her to Thailand to help her communicate.

Tate isn’t troubled by the move to a new country because she has spent her life traveling between the Navajo reservation and Japan. She has to watch what she eats though, as the foods offered by street vendors in Bangkok is delicious, she reports.

She’s concentrating on eating protein and a lot of fruits and vegetables. And she tries to avoid processed sugar. It’s a diet some of her new teammates are trying to mimic.

Although she had planned to major in mathematics at Walla Walla, Tate has switched her major to innovative media production at Bangkok University.

It’s been a long and winding road for Tate but she’s ready to help her team win.

As long as she’s back on the basketball court it’s all strawberry fields from here on!



Hoop Dreams Coming True - overview

Summary: Hoop Dreams Coming True for a Navajo Lady


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