PHOENIX, Nov. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) was honored during the Phoenix Suns game on Tuesday, November 22, 2022. Founded by former Phoenix Suns player Mark West, the late Scott Podleski, and GinaMarie Scarpa, NABI is the largest Native American basketball tournament in North America, featuring 136 teams representing tribal communities across the country each summer.
Left to Right: Governor Stephen Lewis, Gila River Indian Community Ginamarie Scarpa, Founder and President, NABI Lynette Lewis, Tournament Manager, NABI Mark West, Former Player and Founder of the Phoenix Suns, NABI 2023 NABI Sponsors
NABI co-founder Ginamari Scarpa said: “Our 20-year collaboration with Sonne and Merkur has brought NABI significantly forward. The tournament features “Rageball,” a game played in tribal areas across America. A popular form of basketball.” “Our annual tournament highlights the overlooked talents of our Indigenous athletes who play the championship game on the same hardwood floor that both the Sun and Mercury compete on,” said Scarpa.
“For two decades, the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury have set the stage for other NBA teams to welcome and support Indigenous youth and communities in their respective states. This is a moment NABI, The Suns, Mercury is an important time for . . . and all indigenous peoples in Arizona and beyond,” said Stephen R. Lewis, Governor of the Gila River Indian Community.
“Phoenix Sun and Phoenix Mercury are honored to celebrate 20 years of partnership with the NBI,” said Graham Wincott, Sun’s senior director of marketing. “Our longstanding relationship with NABI is the foundation of the Origins program, which represents Arizona’s 22 tribal nations and celebrates a shared love of basketball. We look forward to helping showcase young athletes from tribal communities across the country in the years to come.” We look forward to continued collaboration and assistance.”
NABI is a national sports competition run by indigenous women. In 2007, NABI was the driving force behind the NCAA’s decision to change its Same State Rule. The NABI became the first Native American basketball tournament mandated by the NCAA to respect tribal sovereignty, not the state’s demographics. And in 2022, NABI will be the first all-American basketball tournament to appear on the major sports network ESPN+.
It is estimated that NABI has a $1.5 million economic impact on the city of Phoenix each summer. In addition, NABI has awarded over $400,000 in scholarships and college scholarships.
Visit NABINation.com for more information
SOURCE Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) Foundation