BILLINGS — Crow Tribal member Albert Gros-Ventre has been selected to coach Montana's International Native Cup softball team at the 2024 United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) tournament in Florida.
The event is scheduled for Feb. 2-5 at the Space Coast Complex in Vierra West, Florida.
"I am truly honored even to be mentioned, let alone be selected as head coach for this elite group of players that will be representing our state and their respective tribes," Gros-Ventre told MTN Sports.
Gros-Ventre has chosen Marlin “Deano” Yarlott Not Afraid as his assistant coach. The two have traveled the country with Team Gro-Von participating in various Native American World Series events and tournaments since 1994, according to Gros-Ventre.
"Albert's position is very special," said Montana USSSA Softball state director Dan Waggs. "As the International (Native) coach, Albert will be selecting the players that best represent not only our state but our Native Tribes throughout the state. Montana has some very gifted players that Albert will be selecting to represent Montana Tribes in Florida."
Once a year players are chosen to represent their home state and compete against some of the nation's best. Tournament games are televised live on the USSSA website.
Gros-Ventre was inducted to North Dakota's Board of The Diamond Legends Hall of Fame in 2014 becoming the first the Crow member enshrined within the organization's HOF. Billy Mills, gold medal winner of the 1964 Tokyo games, was the presenter.
Multiple Montana teams will play in the USSSA tournament in various classes and divisions throughout January, according to Gros-Ventre. The Black, Hispanic and Native American tourney opens in early February.