Nike Store and Nike N7 host youth for “Only Basketball”
October 20, 2023
Communications & Public Affairs Office
On Oct. 13, in collaboration with Nike and N7, Native American youth basketball teams, including Gila River, gathered at Tempe Marketplace’s Nike store for its grand reopening event, “Only Basketball.” This event presented the teams with fresh basketball equipment and an opportunity to hit the court. Phoenix Suns shooting guard Josh Okogie was in attendance, connecting with the youth.
“I love how the game grows in the Native American community. It has been great,” said Okogie, who did a Q&A with the players and participated in some of the drills with the instructors.
Okogie also said he appreciated the support for the Suns from Arizona’s Native population and enjoyed working with the youth. “I do it with great pride and honor,” he said.
Gila River head coach Brent Escalante had been busy teaching the game to youth during fall break when Robert Johnston, head coach of AZ Warriors, asked if he had a team for the “Only Basketball” event. Escalante had several school-aged children eager to attend.
“Gila River does an excellent job of getting their kids out there and keeping them active,” said Johnston.
Escalante said his players were excited to participate and learn more about the game of basketball. “They love these type of events,” said Escalante.
The Nike Unite – Town Lake, located at Tempe Marketplace, set up a court for drills and also opened its doors for the players and parents to attend the Q&A with the Okogie. The action then went outdoors, and the players hit the hardwood for a series of drills and instruction in their brand-new basketball sneakers courtesy of Nike.
Okogie also posed for a group photo and left the court, but not after showing off his 42.5-inch vertical with a two-handed alley-oop slam dunk.