Medicine Cloud signs with Rocky Mountain CollegeMar 31, 2017 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
Shoshoni's dynamic point guard will play basketball for the Battlin' Bears at the university in Billings, Montana next season.
Fremont County's fastest GMC will be driving in a new lane next year.
Shoshoni point guard Gary Medicine Cloud has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for and attend Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana.
On Thursday at Wrangler Gym, Medicine Cloud, the man known as "GMC," inked his signature to a document, pledging his services to the National Association of Collegiate Athletics Division I program.
Medicine Cloud led Class 2-A Northwest in scoring at 19.2 points per game this season, a total good enough for third overall in all of Class 2-A and was first in assists (5.5) and steals (3.4), putting up a season-high 27 points against Pine Bluffs on Jan. 7.
According to Wranglers head coach Brady Slack, what makes Medicine Cloud so valuable is his multidimentional game.
"Gary is such a dynamic player due to many assets of his game -- court vision, ability to
dribble and get to the rim, understanding of game speed and quick hands on
defense," said Slack. "His court vision is unbelievable and led to many passes for assists that
common players would not be able to make. His incredible dribbling skills allowed him
to break any pressure applied to him, allowed him to get teammates out of trouble and
his ability to get to the rim for a score or penetrate and kick was top notch for any point guard in the state."
Medicine Cloud also has the uncanny ability to adjust on the fly and do whatever is necessary at any given time to improve his team's chances of being successful, regardless of the game plan or how the defense reacts, said Slack.
"Gary can control any game's tempo and could turn the game in our team's favor for the best chance to win," he said. "He truly can play any style of basketball depending on the situation at hand. In addition, his defensive toughness and quick hands were a terror for offensive guys and led to many steals throughout the season."
Medicine Cloud stands six feet tall, but his playing style and passion allows him to defeat bigger, stronger opponents, which will translate over to the collegiate level of competition, said Slack.
"Due to his toughness and love of the game, Gary will make it at the college level and will be a contribution to the varsity team before his career is over," he said. "I think Gary has played above state level competition for the past two years and I see him being a point guard with many assists at the next level."
However, like any player moving up a notch in competition, Medicine Cloud has aspects of his game which need to improve to continue to be successful, said Slack.
"Strengths of Gary's game include ball handling, seeing the floor, being tough on ball defense and defensive rebounding," he said. "But, areas he can improve at the college level include becoming a pure shooter off screens and help side defense to protect the rim. If Gary improves in these areas, he will be a very difficult matchup."
When asked what one word he would use to describe Medicine Cloud in a nutshell, Slack didn't hesitate.
"Character," he said. "Gary can be described by character because he's a man that brings it every day. Using character to lead his team, Gary was equal to every teammate regardless of skill and played the game of basketball the way it should be played by passing to open teammates even if they were not capable of finishing plays."
But, Medicine Cloud's exemplary conduct isn't just limited to the court, said Slack.
"Gary's character is shown off the court by being an upstanding citizen, keeping good grades and being a role model for younger students in our community," he said. "There is nobody with more good character than Gary Medicine Cloud."
Finally, as far as what it means for a player in his program to move on to play in college, the value can't be quantified, said Slack.
"Having a player like Gary move on to the college level means so much to our program. First of all, I think it helps kids understand if it's a passion of theirs, we can help them get to a school to play at the next level," he said. "Also, it shows we're focusing on more than just basketball, our guys are graduating with necessary grade-point averages to get accepted to college and obtain academic scholarships. Lastly, it shows we're producing good people, the kind of people colleges can trust to be an asset to their community and school, as well as compete at a high level to help their basketball program."