- Team registration is now underway for the second annual Native
American Basketball Invitational, a high school basketball tournament
sponsored by the Phoenix Suns comprised of Native American student/athletes
from throughout the United States and Canada.
response to the overwhelming number of teams that have expressed
interested in participating in this years tournament, event
organizers (POD Productions) have expanded the field to include
28 teams. To accommodate more teams, the first rounds of play July
21-23 will be held on the Salt River Indian Reservation with the
tournament moving to the America West Arena for the semi-finals
and finals July 24.
wishing to register should call POD Productions managing partner
GinaMarie Scarpa-Mabry at 602-265-2770 or visit NABIHOOPS.COM.
national exposure of this event for our first year was overwhelming,"
says Scarpa-Mabry. "One of NABIs biggest successes came
in the form of four college scholarships being awarded. This was
one of NABIs future goals, and to have it happen in our first
year tells us we need to keep the tournament growing."
tournament will again provide participants with a first-class tournament
experience, including having the Hyatt Regency Phoenix as the host
hotel, as well as an official Nike uniform for each participant.
of NABI include the Suns, Phoenix Mercury, America West Arena, Nike,
Native Voice, Hyatt Regency & AlterNative Marketing
(Native American Basketball Invitational), POD Productions first
event, debuted on July 11- 13, 2003 at the America West Arena in
Phoenix, Arizona with Nike and Phoenix Suns as presenting sponsors.
vision of NABI tournament was to provide a spark that ignited Native
American youth to set their sights higher, make the most of their
potential and reach their dreams through sports and educational
opportunities. The tournament featured 24 teams from across the
U.S. and Canada.
of Indian Countrys most influential people spoke and inspired
the young people participating in the tournament. "The coaches
at Haskell (Indian College) and the people who I met through basketball
saved my life" said Ernie Stevens, chairman National Indian
Gaming Association. Tex Hall, President, National Congress of American
Indians: Shared, "I came from an era where we jumped in a beat-up
car and played on worthless Courts. This tournament should show
you there are people willing to invest in you" (Jessie Stomski,
McCracken became the Manager of Native American Business at Nike
in the year 2000, a position he created with the support of the
"powers that be" at the sports apparel giant. As McCracken
explains, "My position here at Nike is to be a face of the
community. It needs a real person that can make real connections.
One of my goals is to heighten the awareness of Native Americans
in sports, to support Native athletes."(Lise Balk King and
Jessie Stomski, Native Voice)
goal of receiving national attention from colleges that can provide
scholarship opportunities to the Native Americans youth who participated
was reached in our inaugural year. The tournament also positioned
it self as being a quality national recognized Native American tournament
in which youth and tribes have a desire to be part of in years to
addition, the desire of the team at POD Productions is to inspire
and meet the needs of Native American youth. By not only being a
part of an exciting event that gives youth an opportunity to showcase
their skills and provide educational opportunities, but by being
part of their future and to build an on going relationship that
encourages and supports their dreams.
of this desire, the NABI Foundation was founded. The Foundation
will help with the needs of Native American athletes by establishing
college mentoring programs to encourage Native American youth to
further their education. POD Productions goal is to grow The NABI
Foundation, governed by Native leaders, into a national Foundation
within our first five years.
wants to be the catalyst to catapult Native athletes into the college
level of play and with the NABI Foundation, work with colleges to
create mentor programs to help the students deal with the stresses
of leaving the reservations with the hopes of creating life time
career opportunities and Native Americans athletes having a consistent
presence in the NBA and other pro sports.