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Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts Native American Basketball Invitational tournament June 23-29

Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts Native American Basketball Invitational tournament June 23-29

The 17th Annual NABI Basketball Invitational brings thrilling competition to the Ak-Chin Indian Community and the town of Maricopa on June 23-29. Don’t miss a second of it!

Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts Native American Basketball Invitational tournament June 23-29

The Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) showcases top high school athletes and teams from Native American and indigenous youth from around the country and Canada. Each year, a total of 128 teams are selected to compete, 64 boys’ teams and 64 girls’ teams.

Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts Native American Basketball Invitational tournament June 23-29

Opening Ceremonies, Sunday, June 24, is a fantastic event where teams are paraded with their team flags and welcomed with a celebration, meals, music, and guest speakers. Tournament games run June 24-28, played at NABI host gyms around Maricopa. Watch all five days of the competition for $25, or one-day access passes are available for $10.

Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts Native American Basketball Invitational tournament June 23-29

After a week of thrilling games, it all comes down to the NABI Championship Games, tipping off on Saturday, June 29 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix. Doors open at 10 a.m. with $12.50 admission. Children age 5 and under and adults age 65 and older are admitted free to the tournament and the championship games. Opening ceremonies kick off at 10:45 a.m., and then the championship games start!

Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts Native American Basketball Invitational tournament June 23-29

Will last year’s championship teams reign again? Or will new teams rise to the occasion? Boys’ and girls’ teams compete in one of two division levels. Last year, Savage Storm from the Seminole Tribe of Florida topped the boys’ Division 1 play, and Division 1 girls’ champions were NN Elite from the Navajo Nation. Taking the top spots in Division 2 play were Team Indigenous, a multi-tribe boys’ team, and SW Heat-KTYSP of the Kiowa Tribe for the girls.

Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts Native American Basketball Invitational tournament June 23-29

While the games bring all the thrills and agony of a basketball tournament, NABI isn’t just about sports. The participants attend a college and career fair on Sunday before the tournament games begin. In addition, top student-athletes are recognized at an awards ceremony during the championship games on June 29. Also, the Junior NABI camp coaches’ younger players who are graduating from 8th grade, and these players present an exhibition game at 1:45 p.m. on June 29.

Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts Native American Basketball Invitational tournament June 23-29

The NABI Foundation is a national organization committed to supporting Native American youth through programs that encourage higher education, sports, health, and community building. Come on out and support this worthy cause!

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Carolyn Sostrom is a long-time Arizona resident who loves desert sunsets, warm weather and zumba. As a writer, she’s covered technology, medical and travel topics.

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