Nike at Wild Horse Pass Hosts NABI Players, Hoops Stars
August 5, 2022
As part of the Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) weekly activities, the organization, in collaboration with Nike N7, held an athlete appearance at the Nike Factory Outlet at the Phoenix Premium Outlets at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler on July 21.
The event drew numerous players from the tournament and featured Oklahoma City Thunder player Lindy Waters III (Kiowa/Cherokee), Troy University Women’s Assistant Basketball Coach Chelsea Dungee (Cherokee), and Analyss Benally (Navajo), who plays professionally in Europe. Attendees participated in a question-and-answer panel and inspired everyone to consider their education while pursuing athletics. Afterward, they signed autographs and took photos with fans.
Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis welcomed everyone to the event. “It’s an amazing opportunity for our Community to host this event,” he said. “This is the only Nike outlet in Indian country, and it’s located here in the Gila River Indian Community. As part of our outlet and partnership with N7, we carry their merchandise here. And [our] Community is proud to host you all here tonight.”
Analyss Benally shared her experiences and new career as a Native player in Europe. The former Division 1 college basketball player from San Jose State University and NABI alumnus, was born and raised in Shiprock, N.M., on the Navajo Nation. She is currently finishing her rookie season for CSM Alexandria in Oradea, Romania.
“It’s really special, because you don’t see a lot of people that look like us and are doing these things,” Benally said, “so the fact that I’m able to play overseas means a lot to me.”
Addressing up-and-coming players, Benally said, “I say, master what you’re good at, make sure you’re getting film of yourself, make sure you’re getting yourself out there, spreading the word of your talent.”