Community Sponsors “Gila River” Basketball Teams Before NABI
Gila River Indian News
This summer, two basketball teams training for the Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) attended a donation ceremony on July 11 in District 3. The boys and girls “Gila River” youth basketball teams received a pizza party, new basketball shoes, and jerseys sponsored by the Community, where Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis was present to distribute the donations.
Initially, the teams sought sponsorships for the entry fees for this year’s NABI tournament. However, as the date drew closer, the GRIC Executive Office felt additional support would greatly assist the team through this additional donation.
“I offer my support and admiration for these teams for their tenacity and perseverance on the court. You all have demonstrated remarkable resilience and determination, so it is an honor to provide a token of appreciation for your efforts and witness the continued growth and success,” said Gov. Lewis at the distribution.
As he distributed the items, Governor Lewis acknowledged the valuable life lessons that come with being on a team, such as being a supportive teammate and showing respect towards others. He further emphasized that matching uniforms and shoes would significantly enhance their confidence and pride in representing GRIC.
The two teams were delighted to receive the donations. And they were excited to represent the Community at this year’s NABI tournament. Players that received the gifts quickly opened and tried on their shoes, breaking them in before the NABI gameplay, beginning Tuesday, July 18, in Phoenix.
Kierah Pablo, District 6, expressed her heartfelt appreciation to the Governor and Community for the teams’ support. She eagerly anticipates showcasing her skills on the basketball court with these shoes and making an impact in the tournament. She believes that NABI will be a tremendous opportunity to showcase the talents of Gila River youth to the teams participating from around the country.
The parents and coaches also expressed excitement and gratitude for the generous contributions to the teams.
Brent Escalante, District 3, serves a coach for the boys Gila River team. He expressed gratitude and acknowledged the positive impact on the team’s morale and progress. Taking a day off from basketball to enjoy a party-like atmosphere while receiving new shoes meant a lot to the players.
And Elliot Kisto, District 3, is one of the coaches for the girl’s team said, “I’m grateful for the Community’s support for the kids, it’s an amazing feeling to see the younger generation come together, and I feel proud when I see the smiles on their faces as they put on their jerseys. I want to thank Governor Lewis for his support during this year’s tournament season.”
“As a Community, we aim to show our young men and women that we support them in their endeavors, and we are proud to have the team represent our Community and their families in this year’s NABI tournament,” said Gov. Lewis.