Lomayestewa poses for a picture with coaches
At the Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) Boy's
Gold bracket championship game (Talking Stick Arena July 2), the
AZ Warriors defeated Team Respect from Concho, OK with a score of
81-68, claiming the Championship title and making history as the
first ever NABI back to back champions.
Sixty two high school boys teams came from as far as Alaska
to play for the title.
The AZ Warriors is made up of All Native American boys representing
several tribes throughout Arizona. This year was even more special
as Reyes "RJ" Lomayestewa was named the 2016 NABI MVP.
RJ is from the village of Kykotsmovi and the son of Ranise Coin
and Jay Lomayestewa. He has been with the Warrior team for four
years. Some of his accomplishments and awards include Copa Crew
MVP, and All Tournament Teams. He credits his success to the support
of his family and the Hopi people. This year his 2016 NABI award
is dedicated to the Hopi Tribe.
"I play for those who aren't able, my family and my Hopi Tribe,
RJ recently graduated from Deer Valley High School and will
soon start classes at Glendale Community College and will pursue
enlisting in the military.
The team has been given the privilege to travel to New Zealand
and Hawaii as Ambassadors of NABI. They will travel to Auckland,
New Zealand in July to run a basketball clinic for the Maori National
Teams, have a cultural exchange and learn traditional games of the
Waka teachings. From there they will travel to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii,
where they have been invited to play in the World Youth Basketball
Warriors 2016 NABI Championship Team. Go Warriors!
Congratulations RJ! The Hopi Tribe is proud of
you and wishes the team well.