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NABI semis, final to air on ESPN+

Basketball fans won’t have to be in Phoenix to see the semifinals and championships of the Native American Basketball Invitational.

This year the games will be broadcast on ESPN+ on July 22-23.

“For 19 years, NABI continues to be the largest and most prestigious all-Native American basketball tournament in North America,” GinaMarie Scarpa, president of NABI, said in a news release. “We are excited to showcase our athletes in a way that has never been done before, on a global stage. It will be a significant history-making moment for our athletes and our entire Native community.”

NABI teamed up with executive producer Robert Judkins, LTN Global and ESPN to broadcast the games. Semifinals will be played at Phoenix College and Camelback High School. The championship games will be held at Footprint Center, home of the NBA’s Suns and WNBA’s Mercury.

NABI week tips-off on July 17. The invitational features 136 Native teams of boys and girls teams from throughout North America. It is for ages 14-19. The schedule calls for more than 470 games in 11 Phoenix-area gyms.

The Seminole Tribe is a longtime major sponsor of NABI. The Tribe has enjoyed plenty of success in recent years. Last year, a girls team coached by Skyla Osceola of the Hollywood Reservation finished runner-up. Seminole boys were on teams that won championships in 2014 and 2018.

This year Native Soldiers and N2Deep are the Florida representation in the boys section. On the girls side, Florida teams are Native Soldiers and 4Deep. Pool play beings July 18.

It’s not all about basketball. NABI’s educational youth summit will be held July 18-20 at Phoenix College. There will also be trips available to teams to see the Mercury and MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks play.

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at