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Native American Basketball Invitational celebrates 20 years at 2023 tournament

Milwaukee Bucks’ MarJon Beauchamp to present championship trophies

The Native American Basketball Invitational is celebrating its 20th year and this year the basketball tournament features 144 teams — boys and girls, ages 14-19 — comprised of athletes representing over 120 tribal communities from all over North America and includes a week full of exciting events for all NABI attendees to enjoy.

“NABI is much more than just a basketball tournament,” said GinaMarie Scarpa, president and founding member of NABI, in a prepared statement. “NABI gives our native American basketball players an opportunity to showcase their talent on a national stage and engages them in a week of activities designed to stimulate their minds. We strive to make NABI a meaningful experience for our athletes and look forward to another 20 plus years of serving our youth.”

NABI week officially tips-off on Tuesday, July 18, and will host 428 basketball games played throughout several Phoenix-area gyms.

In addition to the basketball tournament, athletes participate in NABI Educational Youth Summit, powered by Phoenix Indian Center, that includes a college and career fair. This year, NABI also partnered with the Arizona Science Center to give the athletes exclusive admission into the center to explore the world of science and imagination.

“The Phoenix Indian Center is excited to be partnering with NABI this year,” said Jolyana Begay-Kroupa, chief executive officer of the Phoenix Indian Center. “The NABI Educational Youth Summit gives the Native youth attending from across the country a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded athletes and collaborate off of the court.”

Guy Labine, Hazel A. Hare president and CEO, Arizona Science Center, echoed a similar sentiment of opportunity regarding a basketball and STEM connection.

“We are thrilled to have the NABI athletes come explore the Arizona Science Center and experience great STEM programs that will inspire and educate,” he said. “NABI has been fostering Native athletes both physically and mentally for 20 years and we are excited to become a part of its educational component this year.”

Teams participating in the tournament will be invited to attend Phoenix Mercury Native American Night on July 20. However, tickets are available for purchase on Ticketmaster for friends or family members looking to join their athletes in attendance.

NABI week will conclude with the championship games on Sunday, July 23, at Footprint Center, home of the PhoenixSuns and Phoenix Mercury.

Native American Basketball Invitational celebrates 20 years at 2023 tournament

This year, MarJon Beauchamp, who is of Native American descent from the Mission Indians and La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians, and was drafted by the NBA in 2022 to the Milwaukee Bucks, will be attending 2023 NABI Championships games and will participate in handing out the championship trophies to the 2023 NABI Championship teams.

MarJon will also be conducting a private speaking engagement and photo opportunity for all NABI teams, to talk about his journey to the NBA.

“It is an honor to be able to attend the NABI tournament this year and interact with the Native youth who travel from across the country to participate in this unique tournament,” said Marjon Beauchamp (Yakama Nation), current NBA player for the Milwaukee Bucks. “Giving these Native athletes their own platform is critical to their success on and off the court. I’m looking forward to connecting with them and sharing my own experiences.”

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