A former Rapid City Central all-state volleyball player and enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has seen the sport take her all over the globe but it's her newest role as a Nike N7 Ambassador that brought her back home and closer to her roots.
Lauren Schad was a standout for the Cobblers before a stellar collegiate career at the University of San Diego that saw her earn honorable mention All-American honors as a senior.
She has built on that experience and taken her talents to France to play professionally and in the process earned the attention of the Nike program that looks to bring athletic opportunity to Native American and Aboriginal communities in the U.S. and Canada.
Part of that process has Schad back in South Dakota, hosting volleyball camps at Eagle Butte, Mission and Pine Ridge.
"For me it's great to see these kids, some of them I've known for a few years now from doing it for three years now and you see them grow and it's almost like coaching," Schad said.
"It's just the same thing as coaching. I coach club kind of in San Diego but it's so much more meaningful because you know that you're giving back to your community and you know that you're giving back to your people and it's really heartfelt for me. It's something that I hold really dear to my heart and its something that I'm really passionate about."
Schad will be heading back to France next month to continue her professional career.