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Piestewa National Native American Games

Jacob Schurz plays defense while playing for the Varsity Ba'ag basketball team in a game at Fountain Hills High School.

More than 3,000 youth and adults from tribes across the U.S., Arizona and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community participated in the Lori Piestewa National Native American Games, held July 21-23. The three-day event featured more than 100 teams in baseball and softball, basketball, cross-country, volleyball and wrestling (wrestling took place July 29 and 30).

Participants competed in tournaments held in the Community, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills and Fort McDowell.

Youth and adults from the SRPMIC participated in the games, including two boys basketball teams called Ba’ag, a junior high team and a varsity team. Their games were played in the Community at Rancho Solano Prep and also in Fountain Hills. In a game at Rancho Solano, the younger Ba’ag team fell to the SC Warriors team, 24-49. Both teams played hard, but in the end the Warriors won. The Warriors were the eventual division champions.

The varsity Ba’ag team played against AZ Rising in an evening game but were outscored 21-50. That team went on to play The Apaches, who at the end took the division championship.

Team Copa Crew Hype, which had sisters/Community members Nyese and Daycee Achin, made it to their championship game in the JV girls division. They played against Lady Hoosiers at Rancho Solano. The Lady Hoosiers took the championship, 43-29.

Other Community members participated on other teams throughout the weekend in other sports as well. The games are named in honor of fallen U.S. Army soldier Lori Piestewa, who was killed in 2003 in Iraq. She was the first Native American woman to die in military combat.

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