Native American Basketball Invitational Kicks Off

July 02, 2014

The Native American Basketball Invitational kicked off on Wednesday in Phoenix. More than 120 tribal high school teams will be represented in the four-day tournament.

The tribes come from all over the United States, Canada and New Zealand.  

GinaMarie Scarpa is the founder of the Native American Basketball Invitational Foundation. She said the event was created to provide native youth, especially those who live in isolated areas, an opportunity to showcase their skills to college recruiters. Scarpa said the players are vying for scholarship money.

"We use basketball as a tool to sort of engage them into opportunities that are out there in higher education," Scarpa said. "So it’s the basketball, and the kids love the basketball, but it’s so much more than that."

This is the 12th year the foundation has hosted the tournament in Phoenix.