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Community Members Attend Nike N7 Sport Summit in Oregon

Members of the AZ Warriors and NABI Foundation Programs and Events Coordinator Angelo Johnson (middle) pose for a photo at the NIke World Headquarters Campus in Oregon. Photo credit: NABI

Two Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members recently experienced the popular Nike World Headquarters Campus in Oregon as part of a Native American athlete-related summit.

Alex Hill-Jimenez and Stanford Vasquez attended the 2016 Nike N7 Sport Summit, September 8-10 at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. The two are members of the AZ Warriors, a summer youth basketball team. In July, the Warriors repeated as the boys division champions in the Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) in Phoenix. N7 is a sponsor of the NABI Foundation. Vasquez is a 2016 high school graduate and Hill-Jimenez is a senior at Salt River High School and a star football player.

Warriors coach Robert Johnston, who emceed parts of the three-day summit, invited his players to join him in Oregon. In all, seven members of the team made the trip, Hill-Jimenez said. The team also participated in a summit breakout session that focused on positive youth development.

NIke's N7 shoes on display at its world headquarters in Oregon. Photo submitted by Alex Hill-Jimenez. A Michael Jordan poster outside the MIchael Jordan building on the Nike campus in Oregon. Photo submitted by Alex Hill-Jimenez.
“I really enjoyed myself and I’m glad I had the opportunity to go,” Hill-Jimenez said. “Everyone was there to have fun and come together as one. It was a great time.”

The summit included Nike N7 Ambassadors Miles and Lyle Thompson, professional lacrosse players and (Onondaga) brothers; and former Louisville Cardinals basketball player and author Jude Schimmel (Umatilla). Black Eyed Peas band member Taboo (Shoshone) was part of the welcoming reception.

Besides health and wellness, important social issues that affect Indian Country like the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in North Dakota were discussed at the summit and it left a mark on Hill-Jimenez, he said.

Hill-Jimenez and other summit participants toured the closed campus, which includes buildings named after Nike athletes and large banners of athletes. The campus also includes soccer fields, a tennis court, a gymnasium and a running trail. Hill-Jimenez’s favorite part of the camps was the Michael Jordan, named after Nike’s iconic basketball star. Jordan has his own reserved parking spot.

“They had his shoes everywhere, posters on the wall,” he said. “It was pretty nice.”

In late August, Hill-Jimenez’s decision to go to Oregon was a conflict at first. His 2-0 Eagles were set to play a tough New Way Academy team on September 9 and he didn’t want to miss the game. In the end, he missed the game and the Eagles hung on to win 28-22 after starting the game 28-0.

“I was still iffy on going as the week got closer,” he said. “A lot of these guys, they bought into the program. You have a lot of good results when you believe in something like and that’s exactly what we got.”