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Point Guard Plumley Native American role model

Lawton_It was Native American Week last week on the University of Oklahoma campus and Friday night they capped off the week long event with an exhibition dance during halftime of the OU Women's Basketball game with Central Arkansas.  In a fitting gesture for one of the team's star athletes, point guard Jenna Plumley - a full blood Native American who has family in the Lawton Area.

7News interviewed Plumley after the game and asked her why being in the limelight is such a big deal to those who look up to her.  She's the floor leader, yet at 5'4", she's the smallest player on the roster - a big role for a national title contender team.  But, that doesn't bother her, it's a challenge she felt she was ready for at an early age.

Playing basketball was all Plumley knew and going on to play Division One basketball in her home state makes it even sweeter.  "This is Native American Heritage Week and makes me feel even more confident about what I'm doing, you know.  I'm a role model and just coming out and playing everyday and going to school - it's just fun," she says.

When she hits the floor, makes a shot, or even hits one of her favorite targets down low with one of her fancy passes, it's clear she's a crowd favorite.  Many of the faces in the crowd at her games are Native American - cheering on someone they consider a role model isn't something their used to doing.  "Feels really good," says Plumley.  "Especially since when I was a child I never really had a female role model to look to."

Now, she's the one many look up to.  After the game, the team had a meet and greet with the crowd - the line wrapped almost completely around the arena - nearly all of them Native Americans here for a chance to meet Plumley. 

Lucas Taylor says Indian youth, especially in Oklahoma, are very gifted but don't often get the opportunity to excel.  He feels Plumley may help open some doors.  "That's what Jenna is," he says.  She's got that moxie about her.  And, we - lots of kids that have that same type of energy and that same type of passion - but sometimes they don't have the right support.  And that's why where here to give them that support and the opportunity."

She gave all hopeful basketball players that lined up to greet her, the hope that some day they too will make it beyond high school careers.  And, she couldn't be more proud of where she came from.  She attributes her talent to her Native roots.  "It gives them hope," says Plumley.  "That's what my mom says.  Everybody back home always telling her how thankful they are for me and how they watch every game that's televised.  I just give them hope and that's something I look forward to."

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