Native American Basketball Tournament underway at US Airways Center

Jul 18, 2013, 5:00 AM | Updated: 5:00 am

PHOENIX — The first Native American Basketball Tournament sanctioned by the NCAA is back for another action packed weekend of really great basketball.

Teams of some of the best young athletes from around the world have come to Phoenix to take command of the court.

“These kids represent tribes, high school teams, club teams from all over the United States, including Alaska. We also have teams from Canada and New Zealand,” said GinaMarie Scarpa, Founder and CEO of NABI.

“We started the invitational 11 years ago with just local teams and the interest grew and grew, I’m really excited about it.”

The idea behind NABI was to draw attention to the amazing athletic ability these kids possess, but often goes unrecognized by pros in the industry. Founders also attempt to inspire kids to use their abilities and earn scholarships.

“Right when we get burned out and wonder if we are making a difference, we get a letter in the mail that says because of NABI, I was scouted and I signed with a team or I chose to go to college and now I am an engineer or in law school,” Scarpa said.

For more information, visit NABI Foundation.

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Native American Basketball Tournament underway at US Airways Center