Basketball standout Macyn Morning Bull says her close knit family has inspired her to reach for higher heights in sports and in life.
The driven five-foot-11-inch forward with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is thankful for her family’s motivating influence, now that she can check playing postsecondary basketball off her list of goals to accomplish.
“I think my motivation comes from my mom always pushing me to be the best that I can be,” said the 18-year-old. “I just always want to be known as someone who works hard.”
Morning Bull was voted most valuable player in her final year at Henry Wise Wood High School in Calgary, AB. Although her team suffered a heartbreaking four-point loss in their final game last year, Morning Bull says the effort she and her team put out made it the greatest moment in her sporting career.
“In my last high school basketball game we lost and didn’t get to go to the City Championships,” said Morning Bull. “It was a special game because we all worked so hard and got so close and all of our emotions were on the floor.”
The freshman at SAIT was also selected to represent Alberta at the 2016 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, says her positive and disciplined attitude has been shaped in part by her close relationship with her eight-year-old sister who has been challenged by a disability.
“She’s helped me to understand people more, and to be more patient with myself and with others,” said Morning Bull. “She also reminds me to be happier, because she’s happy and she’s gone through so much.”
Another major influence in her life has been motivational speaker, actor, artist and film producer, Cowboy Smith who also happens to be her older cousin whom she grew up with on the Piikani First Nation.
“He’s made films that relate to our history and he’s worked really hard to be where he is,” said Morning Bull. “I’ve known him since we were little and I look at him with a lot of respect because of what he’s accomplished. That is why I work so hard, because I know that other people do it, and if they can, I can.”
Although she now lives off the reserve in Calgary, Morning Bull says she still feels very connected to her Indigenous culture and has been a fancy dancer travelling and performing at pow wows ever since she was a little girl.
“It’s something that my mom just made me do when I was a kid,” said Morning Bull. It’s something that I can enjoy outside of basketball sports and school. I love getting to see my friends during the summer at pow wows.”
Morning Bull is thrilled to be representing Alberta’s under-19 Team at the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), and hopes to inspire another generation of athletes to set high goals and achieve them.
“From a personal stand point, competing at NAIG is about representing my community, myself and my family,” said Morning Bull. “I want to encourage younger players to play and to be proud of who you are, and believe they can represent it on a high stage like NAIG.”