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Another h/t to WHB reader Peggy who sends this update from the NABI: Unknown Hoops, Cheyenne/Arapaho get Native American Basketball Invitational title

Ashley Mitchell jammed a finger on her shooting hand in a game Friday night.

She came to US Airways Center on Saturday with a headache.

And she left US Airways Center later in the evening clutching the Most Valuable Player trophy after leading Unknown Hoops to a 57-36 victory over Oklahoma Ndns II in the girls final of the Eighth Annual Native American Basketball Invitational.

“It was kind of hard to shoot,” the Fort Defiance Window Rock High senior guard said after scoring 25 points.

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…this news from Indian Country Today:

The 8th Annual Native American Basketball Invitational, the largest NCAA-certified Native American basketball tournament, will be honoring the Haskell Indian Nations University women’s basketball team with the NABI Achievement Award during the NABI Girls Championship half-time at the U.S. Airways Center July 10.

The NABI Achievement Award will be presented to Haskell for demonstrating tremendous athletic achievement. The 2009 – 2010 women’s team qualified for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II National Basketball Championships. This was the team’s first appearance there. Of the 14 players on the team, Haskell originally recruited nine through the NABI tournament.

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The 2010 Native American Basketball Invitational is on tap July 6-10. Drop in if you’re in Phoenix.

The tourney is of particular interest in light of this q/a from Mechelle’s chat:

Dale (South Dakota)

Mechelle, do you think the trends of Native Americans playing women’s basketball will ever catch on? It seems like the few who have gone on, had success. Jenni Lingor, Nadia Begay, Jaci McCormack, Jenna Plumley, Tahnee Robinson, Angel Goodrich, Mystee Dale, are a few names that come to mind. With the exception of Goodrich, none of the above mentioned were nationally ranked players. With Shoni Schimmel at Louisville, I think more Division I coaches will give more than a glancing look at reservation schools. What do you think?

Mechelle Voepel (2:41 PM)

Honestly, if coaches know there is talent out there, they will usually find it. They miss sometimes, for sure, but I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t think coaches are intentionally avoiding players from any certain areas … there would just be no logic at all to that. A bigger factor may be that when Native American players are successful, they inspires others to work to be at their level. And that is something I do see happening.

The blog’s had some posts on the long and interesting history between Native Americans and basketball.

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