BOX ELDER – Hall of Fame women’s basketball player Chamique Holdsclaw made a stop in Box Elder on Wednesday to visit the two-time defending Class C girls basketball champion Bears.
Joelnell Momberg, a star guard for Box Elder, said the experience was one she will never forget.
“It was really cool, especially because she wanted to meet us,” Momberg said. “We were pretty shocked. Then to just hear her words and hear what she had to say, we took that all in. It was pretty great. It was an honor just to have her come to our school.”
Holdsclaw was on the Hi-Line visiting family in Havre when she struck up a conversation with the brother of Box Elder senior Lilly Gopher. He quickly put Holdsclaw in contact with Box Elder principal, and Momberg’s mother, Bonnie St. Goddard.
“(Holdsclaw) mentioned the Box Elder girls basketball team and how she would like to meet them,” St. Goddard recalled. “He connected her with us and it all went from there.”
Holdsclaw’s list of accolades is long. She was a three-time NCAA champion at Tennessee, a two-time Naismith College player of the year, an Olympic gold medalist, and a six-time WNBA all-star.
She told Box Elder students about her background, her career, and the importance of setting goals and never giving up.
“She just said, ‘No matter what your background is, no matter where you come from, it’s what you make of it,’” Momberg said. “She told us to do hard work and try to separate yourself depending on what you want to be in life.”
Holdsclaw posted photos from her visit on her Instagram account Thursday.
“I’ve been in Montana visiting with my family at Rocky Boy Indian reservation,” she wrote in the photo caption. “Once I found out the Box Elder girls’ basketball team won back to back state championships I had to go visit the school. It was great to hang out with these kids. I’m wishing them all the best.”
The feeling goes both ways.
“It was awesome,” St. Goddard echoed. “I think the kids really enjoyed the message that she delivered. She talked a lot about Chief Rocky Boy preaching kindness and that was kind of her message was, always be kind and that it’s not about where you come from, but where you’re going and that resonated through all of the classes that she got to visit”
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I’ve been in Montana visiting with my family at Rocky Boy Indian reservation. Once I found out the Box Elder girls’ basketball team won back to back state championships I had to go visit the school. It was great to hang out with these kids. I’m wishing them all the best ✊🏾. #montana #rockyboyreservation #boxelder #statechamps #nativeamerican