Arlee Warriors are celebrating more than just a basketball champ - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Arlee Warriors are celebrating more than just a basketball championship

Posted: Mar 05, 2018 10:30 AM Updated:

The Arlee Warriors won the Class C state basketball championship over the weekend, but they're also celebrating for a different reason.

The Warriors dedicated their win to promoting openness about mental health and suicide prevention, and hoped that their message would be heard across the state -- and across the country.

Senior guard Phillip Malatare is one of the players who is certainly enjoying this moment: “A little Class C school being like an Icon around the country is definitely amazing. A school of 120 people -- it was definitely awesome trying to be like role models for everybody out there and I hope we did that.”

The Warriors were undefeated this season and their latest win marks their second state championship in a row.

For Phillip's father John, the victory meant the end of an era.

"Honestly, it was bittersweet because my son, Phillip, it was the last time he was gonna wear a Warrior uniform. The game, never got nervous whether they were gonna win or lose, at but it's just knowing that my kid was going to be playing in a Warrior uniform for the last time," John Malatare told MTN News.

The Warriors created and shared on Facebook last week a video to promote suicide prevention, and it has been watched more than 815,000 times, and shared more than 31,000 times since then.

  • Reported by Donal Lakatua/MTN News

If you are in crisis and want help, call the Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline anytime at 1-800-273-TALK or text “MT” to 741741

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