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Arlee's Ben Old Person-Harlow playing Montana-Wyoming All-Star Basketball Series with heavy heart

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Posted at 3:24 PM, Jun 13, 2024

BILLINGS — Arlee’s Ben Old Person-Harlow didn’t have to search far for athletes to look up to.

It wasn’t long ago the Warriors were in the midst of a dynastic run in Class C, as stars Philip Malatare and Will Mesteth led Arlee to state titles in 2017 and 2018. The impact of that stretch is still felt.

“All of us looked up to them. We would walk through the high school hallways and they would communicate with us. They didn't leave us out of it," Old Person-Harlow said. "It always made me want to go harder. Seeing that they could win a state championship proved to me that anybody could win a state championship, and it made me want to work harder.

"They were great role models, too. They taught me a lot off the court. They taught me how to present myself and how to keep my head high all of the time."

Old Person-Harlow is a terrific basketball talent who plays with a ton of emotion.

“I just recently lost my best friend this past winter, so that motivated me to go harder," Old Person-Harlow said. "He always wanted to go to the state tournament and play there. He always want to have the opportunity to play. He never really got to play that much. The games we did get to play together, I enjoyed it.

"When you say wearing my heart on my sleeve, I've always been that type of emotional player. Play with some fire and aggressiveness, because if you're not bringing aggressiveness into the game you aren't going to get anything out of it."

Before Old Person-Harlow turns his attention to prep school at Bridgton Academy in Maine, he’ll hope to keep Montana’s perfect 22-0 record under Steve Keller in the Midland Roundtable Montana-Wyoming All-Star Basketball Series intact.

“They've been told and we're only going to tell them once," Montana head coach Steve Keller said of the streak. "We talk about that streak a little bit. ... All those games we've won have been close. We could have lost quite a few of them but we've been fortunate to win them."

"I don't want to be the team that loses, the first one to lose with Keller. I don't want to be that guy, so we're definitely going to work hard," Old Person-Harlow said.

This year's all-star games get underway Friday inside the Pronghorn Center in Gilette, Wyo. The girls are slated to tip at 5 p.m. with the boys to follow.