The Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) has partnered with Grand Canyon University to utilize their thirteen courts for this summer's basketball tournament which brings together Native communities to compete in basketball education.
The invitational addresses well-being, leadership, and education while celebrating the sport of basketball. Last year, NABI had a record-breaking 144 teams, representing over 150 Tribal Nations.
“NABI is one of the fastest growing basketball tournaments in the country and has rapidly expanded its footprint here in the Valley,” said Grand Canyon President Brian Mueller in a press release. “As one of the fastest growing universities in the country, we are proud to embrace them as part of the GCU family.”
For almost 20 years, NABI has been known for being the largest and most prestigious all-Native American Basketball tournament in North America, serving high school-age youth. NABI has partnered and received sponsorship from many Tribes, as well as the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, and Nike’s N7 brand.
Basketball is a rallying point in contemporary Native communities that provides a vehicle for historic tribal organizing principles and values, according to Montana State University.
This year NABI is preparing for a total of 160 teams to participate in this summers’ tournament, bringing over 1600 athletes and 400 games to the Phoenix area.
NABI officially tips off this summer from July 22 through July 27 at the Footprint Center. In addition the week will feature a team meet and greet kick-off party, career fair, youth educational summit and conclude with the televised final four and championship games.
“This new partnership is a great opportunity for NABI and the exciting place we find ourselves,” said NABI President GinaMarie Scarpa in a press release. “Over the years we were constantly trying to secure courts to meet our tremendous growth. Staying in the central Phoenix area is also very important to NABI and the youth we serve as the exciting city of Phoenix offers so much to our youth athletes who travel from remote reservations all over the U.S., Canada and as far away as New Zealand. Add our 20-year partnership with Footprint Center, where the NABI Championship games are held, and our commitment to providing higher educational programs and opportunities during NABI week; GCU is a perfect fit for NABI.”
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