Associated Press
Baylor QB Bryce Petty

Top Native Athletes to Watch in 2015

Sam Laskaris
12/29/14

A new year is mere days away, and there is always plenty of optimism in the air whenever calendars are ready to be flipped. In the sporting world, there are numerous Native athletes looking to add to their accomplishments and highlight reels in 2015.

Here are 12 Native athletes to root for in the next 12 months.

Bryce Petty

Petty, a 23-year-old Chickasaw quarterback, will be looking to lead his Baylor Bears to victory on New Year’s Day against the Michigan Wolverines in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl. Following that game, Petty’s final collegiate contest, the star QB will see if he has what it takes to make it in the NFL. Sports analysts believe Petty will indeed be selected in the NFL draft. But there are varying predictions on when he'll be chosen. CBSSports.com has him pegged as a fourth-round pick, while WalterFootball.com believes Petty might drop down and be chosen as late as the sixth round. 

RELATED:Chickasaw Quarterback Headed to Cotton Bowl, Ignores Snub Speculation

Johnny Powless

Powless, a 21-year-old Mohawk Turtle, hopes to add more lacrosse championships to his already impressive resume. Powless, one of the world's most exciting young players, won three straight National Lacrosse League championships with the Rochester Knighthawks. In September, the Knighthawks traded him to the Vancouver Stealth.

In 2014, Powless also captained his hometown Six Nations Arrows to a Canadian Junior A title in his final year of junior eligibility. And he can still suit up for the Six Nations Chiefs, a team with which he won a Mann Cup, a Canadian senior men's title in September.

Bronson Koenig

Koenig, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, is a sophomore playing for the University of Wisconsin basketball team. Koenig and his teammates enter 2015 sporting an impressive 11-1 record this season. The Badgers' lone setback thus far was a 80-70 loss against Duke in early December. Koenig, a 6-foot-4 guard, has been averaging 21 minutes of action and 4.8 point per game this season.Bronson Koenig (Associated Press)

Selena Lasota

Lasota, a 19-year-old, who is a member of Katzie First Nation in British Columbia, will be looking to make an immediate impact with the Northwestern University Wildcats women's lacrosse team. Lasota is expected to play her first NCAA match with the Wildcats, a perennial national  powerhouse, on Feb. 5 in Los Angeles against the University of Southern California. Lasota, who is from Campbell River, B.C., is expected to be an offensive star with the Wildcats. She previously played for the Canadian women's under-19 squad. And though her high school did not have a lacrosse team, she was the school's athlete of the year as a senior, playing basketball and soccer.

Kali Reis

Reis, a  28-year-old middleweight boxer who lives in Providence, Rhode Island, hopes to capture some more prestigious hardware in 2015. Reis, who has Cherokee, Nipmuc and Seaconke Wampanoag ancestry, captured the women's International Boxing Association (IBA) middleweight belt during a bout in Bermuda in November. Reis, who is sporting a 7-3-1 professional record, will be required to defend her title this coming year, but she'll also be seeking to add championship belts.

RELATED: Native Boxer Wins Women's IBA Crown

Kobi Crossley

Crossley, a talented Chickasaw softball player, will start her collegiate career in her home state as she has accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Science and Arts in Oklahoma. This past fall, Crossley led her Newcastle High School squad to an Oklahoma state championship. Crossley will train with her new team this coming fall, and her first collegiate game is expected to be in February of 2016. Kobi Crossley, and her uncle, Coach Mike Crossley, hold the OK (softball) state championship trophy. (via Facebook)

RELATED: Chickasaw Softball Coach Waits 27 Years for Big Win

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debrinconcita's picture
debrinconcita
Submitted by debrinconcita on
It's about time all Native's were recognized for their talents & not just their skin color. GO NATIVE's in 2015, we are all proud to be Indian.
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