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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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"RJ" Lomayestewa Named MVP As AZ Warriors Take 2016 NABI Boys Basketball Championship
by Ranise Coin - Proud Mother for Hopi Tutuveni
"RJ" 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, said Lomayestewa."

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 Tournament.

AZ Warriors 2016 NABI Championship Team. Go Warriors!

Congratulations RJ! The Hopi Tribe is proud of you and wishes the team well.

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