The 17th Annual Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) was held during the last week of June, were Native American basketball players (featured 128 teams) in boys and girl’s tournaments from across Canada, the United States, two teams from New Zealand and for the first time, Mexico converged on the Arizona Valley for one of the largest amateur sporting events of its kind.
Early-round games were played in Maricopa and Bapchule (teams were seeded in Gold or Silver, 32-team brackets for single-elimination competition toward a national championship) on June 24-26 and the National-title games were held at Talking Stick Resort Arena, home of the Phoenix Suns, in downtown Phoenix on Saturday, June 29.
During this event, some the Hoi-ra-ua (Opatas) participated alongside our brothers Tohono O’odham,Yoreme (Mayos), Yoeme (Yaquis) y Comcaac (Seris) under the same flag, the team “Indigenous Peoples of Sonora Mexico” where to their surprise they were very well received with great affection and respect for the teams representing the other indigenous nations and organizers.
This participation would not have been achieved without the previous efforts of many people who worked and supported so that our teams would be present, and thanks to one of the councilors of Nogales, Sonora Edna Soto Gracia and her husband, who were kind enough to travel from Nogales in representation of these young people, great thanks to Isabel Valadez Arias and her team Víctor and Ahmed of the Consulate General of Mexico in Nogales, AZ, who supported the boys incredibly so that many of them will visit the United States of America for the first time, the honorable Verlon Jose whose was the Vice President of the Tohono O’odham Nation until May 2019 for his support for this participation to become a reality, because it should be noted that their support was incredible, and Nike7, Fry’s and the city of Maricopa in Arizona for their sponsorship.
The NABI Foundation is a national foundation committed to supporting Native American youth by implementing programs that encourage higher education, sports, health & wellness, and community building.
For more information about the schedule of events, game schedules, locations, admission fees, and how to donate and/or become a sponsor visit www.nabifoundation.org
NABI sponsors on 2019:
Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, Talking Stick Resort Arena, City of Maricopa, Steward Health Care, Bank of American, Native Health, Arizona Diamondbacks, Universal Insurance Programs, Tohono O’odham Nation, Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe, National Indian Gaming Association, Seneca Nation of Indians, Fry’s Food Stores, DEA, Waste Management/Phoenix Open, Rosette LLP, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, KONE Elevators, A.R. Mays Construction, Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours, Gun Lake Tribe, Helios Education Foundation and APS.