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NABI Roundup

AZ Warriors guard Eric Makil (center) tries to steal the basketball. Makil was one of many Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members to play in NABI.


The Cheyenne Arapaho team from Oklahoma fell short with their second game in the Gold division bracket, losing to the MT Native Elite from Montana, 45-36. Overall, the Cheyenne Arapaho played in three pool-play games and two tournament games. They finished with an overall record of 3-2.

Community member Shaylee Scabby was recruited by the Cheyenne Arapaho for this year’s tournament. Scabby is familiar with NABI, and as a young student athlete, she will continue to play basketball throughout the country.

Pool Play results:
Cheyenne Arapaho 34, Elite N8V’S (New Mexico) 30
Cheyenne Arapaho 40, Lady Warriors (Arizona) 22
Cheyenne Arapaho 36, Passion Elite (Arizona) 53

Gold Bracket Tournament results:
Cheyenne Arapaho 63, Team Nashdoii (New Mexico) 40
Cheyenne Arapaho 36, MT Native Elite (Montana) 45


The Passion Elite team from Arizona fell short with their second game in the Gold division bracket, where they lost to the Lady Magic from Arizona, 51-38. Overall the Passion Elite played three pool-play games and two tournament games. They finished with an overall record of 4-1.

Community member Justine Cooper played with the Passion Elite team. Cooper is no newcomer to NABI or to the basketball court; she is a renowned player throughout Indian Country and plans to eventually play collegiate basketball. Cooper helped to lead her team to the Gold bracket in this year’s tournament.

Pool Play results:
Passion Elite 50, Lady Warriors (Arizona) 27
Passion Elite 55, Elite N8V’S (New Mexico) 24
Passion Elite 53, Cheyenne Arapaho (Oklahoma) 36

Gold Bracket Tournament results:
Passion Elite 64, Team Omaha (Nebraska) 34
Passion Elite 38, Lady Magic (Arizona) 51


The AZ Warriors, who won back-to-back NABI championships, fell short this year with a young team in the rebuilding stages. The Warriors played their way into the Gold division bracket with a 2-1 record in pool play. The Warriors played three pool-play games and one tournament game, losing to the Shades of Red from Oklahoma, 58-45.

This year Community members Eric Makil and Alex Hill-Jimenez played with the AZ Warriors. Be on the lookout for Makil and Hill-Jimenez on the court, as they plan to continue playing and improving their game.

Pool Play results:
AZ Warriors 70, Mni Wiconi (South Dakota) 55
AZ Warriors 60, TO Storm (Arizona) 56
AZ Warriors 59, Tribal Boyz (Washington) 61

Gold Bracket Tournament results:
AZ Warriors 45, Shades of Red (Oklahoma) 58


The Ak-Chin Boys from Arizona fell short in their second game in the Silver tournament bracket, losing to the Barrow Whalers from Alaska, 88-66. Overall, Ak-Chin played three pool-play games and two tournament games.

Community member Delano Watson, 17, played with Ak-Chin. Watson will be a senior at Accelerated Learning Academy.

“I played with Ak-Chin because I knew that they’d be the team I’d have the most fun with. I actually got offers from a few other teams to play with, but I knew it wouldn’t be as fun,” said Watson. “The experience was great. We always joked around, but once it got closer to game time, it got a little more serious.”

Pool Play results:
Ak-Chin 53, Cheyenne Dogmen (Montana) 102
Ak-Chin 1, Commod Nation (South Dakota) 0 (forfeit)
Ak-Chin 59, Otoe Ascend (Oklahoma) 66

Silver Bracket Tournament results:
Ak-Chin 1, Winnebago (Nebraska) 0 (forfeit)
Ak-Chin 66, Barrow Whalers (Alaska) 88


Nga Hau e Wha, a team from New Zealand, recruited Community member Jacob Schurz, 16, through AZ Warriors coach Robert Johnston. The New Zealand team fell short of a couple players who were athletic scholars. Johnston’s roster was full, so he recommended Schurz to play on the New Zealand team.

The New Zealand Nga Hau e Wha team made it to the Silver division bracket with a 0-3 record in pool play. The New Zealand team played three pool-play games and one tournament game, losing to the Bago Warriors from Nebraska, 36-29.

“We are very excited to have Jacob play with us this year. He brings a lot of talent to the team. We play a different type of basketball back in New Zealand, and it’s not our first sport, but we love to play the game,” said team chaperone Nardi Leonard, principal of Jean Batten School in Auckland, New Zealand. “Every year we bring boys who are doing very well in their academics. Everyone wants to come and play here in the tournament, so we choose wisely. This year, Jacob brings a different type of talent to our team.”

“I participated just because I love to play basketball. I knew NABI was a big tournament and wanted to put my game to the test. It was a really good experience to play with the New Zealand team; just getting to know them and play with them, I really enjoyed that,” said Schurz, who was playing in NABI this year for the first time.

“In this year’s tournament I learned what I need to do to improve while playing on the court. I also got to see old friends and meet new people,” added Schurz.

This fall, Schurz will attend Salt River High School as a junior.

Pool Play results:
NGA HAU E WHA 37, Icemen (North Dakota) 60
NGA HAU E WHA 34, Chizhii Boys (New Mexico) 57
NGA HAU E WHA 35, AZ Spartans (Arizona) 38

Silver Bracket Tournament results:
NGA HAU E WHA 29, Bago Warriors (Nebraska) 36


The Run N Gun girls, who play with a local team from Arizona, fell short with their second game in the Gold division bracket, losing to the NN Elite from Arizona, 62-54. Overall, Run N Gun played three pool-play games and two tournament games. They finished with an overall record of 3-2.

Community members who played with Run N Gun are Julianne Carlisle, Mariana Porter, Deja Acosta and Mieve Kochampanasken.

“I participated in NABI because I love being in that environment of being surrounded by other Natives. I love getting to meet and get to know the other Natives from out of state. Most of all, I love the competition each team brings,” said Carlisle, 16. She will be attending Saguaro High School as a junior.

“Playing in NABI has always been a goal for me. I’ve always wanted to participate in it since I was younger,” said Porter, 16. “I look at NABI as an opportunity to play different tribes across the nation, to expose what you would call ‘rez ball’ to city players, as well as proving what kind of player you are.” Porter will be attending Westwood High School in the fall as an junior.

Pool Play results:
Run N Gun 39, Apaches (Arizona) 21
Run N Gun 33, Yakama Nation (Washington) 48
Run N Gun 50, Waziyata Unpi (North Dakota) 33

Gold Bracket Tournament results:
Run N Gun 35, NM Blackhawks (New Mexico) 29
Run N Gun 54, NN Elite (Arizona) 62


A run to the Native American Basketball Invitational Girls’ Silver Division Championship ended in the third round for the Lady Warriors.

The Lady Warriors included members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and other Arizona tribes.

The Lady Warriors beat the Lady Bear Paws and Many Nations before falling in a close game to the Fighting Sioux, 36-43.

The Lady Warriors finished 1-2 in the 4-team pool play. Teams with at least two wins qualify for the Gold Division tournament.

Pool Play results:
Lady Warriors 27, Passion Elite (Arizona) 50
Lady Warriors 22, Cheyenne Arapaho (Oklahoma) 40
Lady Warriors 39, Elite N8V’s (New Mexico) 36

Silver Bracket Tournament results:
Lady Warriors 1, Lady Bear Paws (Montana) 0 (forfeit)
Lady Warriors 34, Many Nations (Arizona) 23
Lady Warriors 36, Fighting Sioux (South Dakota) 43


Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Jared Gates and the AZ Redskins made the championship bracket of a major Arizona Native American tournament.

The team’s run in the Native American Basketball Invitational Gold Division Tournament ended in the second round with a 77-61 loss to War Party WYO, a team that eventually reached the tournament’s final four.

Gates’ team finished 2-1 in pool play to advance to the championship bracket.

Pool Play results:
AZ Redskins 30, BadNationz (Kansas) 49
AZ Redskins 1, Piikunii Nation (Montana) 0 (forfeit)
AZ Redskins 77, Young Bucks (Utah) 47

Gold Bracket Tournament results:
AZ Redskins 75, N8V Thunder (Washington) 67
AZ Redskins 61, War Party WYO (Wyoming) 77

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