Onida’s hometown hero helping lead USD’s NCAA tournament run

The USD women’s basketball team has made a remarkable run to the Sweet 16. But for residents of Onida, South Dakota, the run has had a more personal feeling to it.
The USD women’s basketball team has made a remarkable run to the Sweet 16. But for residents of...
The USD women’s basketball team has made a remarkable run to the Sweet 16. But for residents of Onida, South Dakota, the run has had a more personal feeling to it.(Austin Goss DNN/KOTA)
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 9:07 PM MDT
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ONIDA, S.D. - The University of South Dakota’s historic run to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 has captured the attention of the entire state.

But for Onida, a town of roughly 700 in central South Dakota, the Coyote’s run in the Big Dance has meant just a little more.

“When we got down to Waco and after we played, we won the first game (against Ole Miss),” explains Jeff Lamb. “I got a lot of calls and texts after that, but after the second win against Baylor, I could not believe it. I had over 100 text messages.”

“Of course, I had to answer all of them back!”

Onida is the home of Chloe Lamb, the star senior guard for the Coyotes basketball team.

During her time at Sully Butte High School, Lamb was a five year starter for the girls basketball team, helping to lead them to two state championships in 2016 and 2017.

According to her father and former coaches, Lamb never lost a game on the Sully Butte High School court, going back to when she began playing organized basketball.

Lamb’s connection to Onida has made the team’s run in the tournament even more special for those living here.

“It is just special to see a great kid work hard and get to the national stage,” said Clark Jordre, owner of Blue Goose Sports Pub in town. “Just a great kid and a great family. We have great basketball history in this town, and so now to watch them do this is just really special for us as a town.”

Lamb’s jersey, picture, and accolades are still on display throughout much of the town, and residents are finding ways to lean all the way into the team’s run.

During last weekend’s first and second round games, there was a watch party for the Coyotes games in Onida, even with much of the Lamb family in Waco watching the team beat two power conference teams.

“We have so much support, especially in town,” said Jeff Lamb, father of Chloe. “The people who know Chloe, and know us. Just different things that people have done to reach out. Friends have come over and put different things on our carport, signage and stuff like that. Just different things to support us.”

While the run by the Coyotes has been fun, it has not been surprising.

“Chloe is an even better person than she is player,” explained Mark Senftner, coach for the Sully Butte High School girls basketball team. “She always had time for anything and everything, and she was involved in everything here at the high school.”

“It does not surprise me to see her doing this now.”

The Coyotes will play the Michigan Wolverines Saturday at 5:30 CST, in Wichita, Kansas.

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