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Documentary profiling former Lady Griz basketball player Malia Kipp to be broadcast on Montana PBS

Malia Kipp
Posted at 4:15 PM, Oct 05, 2023

Montana PBS is set to air a half-hour documentary profiling former Lady Griz basketball player Malia Kipp.

In 1992, Kipp, who graduated from Browning High School on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, became the first Montana Tribal member to play NCAA Division I women's basketball. She was recruited by legendary coach Robin Selvig and played for the Montana Lady Griz from 1992-96, inspiring young athletes around the state.

In celebration of Kipp's story and Native American Heritage Month, Montana PBS will air "Native Ball: Legacy of a Trailblazer" on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

The film premiered at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula in February 2023. It has landed awards at film festivals around the country, including the prestigious Cleveland International Film Festival, where it won the Programmers’ Choice Award for Best Short, and the Montana International Film Festival, where it won Best Made In Montana Film.

In November, more than 80 PBS affiliates around the country will broadcast the film, which will also be available to stream on PBS.org, the PBS app and the PBS YouTube channel.

Additional in-person screenings are scheduled to take place across Montana, as well, including a free PBS premier event in Missoula on Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Montana.

Other statewide Montana screenings include:

  • Montana State University Billings (Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.) — Screening includes a panel featuring Famous Lefthand, Kola Bad Bear and Buddy Windy Boy sharing successes and challenges they faced as Native athletes and how they overcame barriers.
  • Billings Public Library (Nov. 15) 
  • Public Screening in Helena in mid-November — Details to follow.