In an effort to promote and show public support for young people, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony invited 50 student athletes and a dozen educators to coach these players in the 1st Annual All-Native American High School Basketball Showcase.
Among the United States’ 565 federal recognized American Indian tribes, Native Americans are the most under-represented ethnicity on college athletics teams. Despite the difficulties finding their way onto an NCAA team, let alone becoming a high profile athlete, history is dotted with famous Native Americans athletes and their noteworthy accomplishments.
In the 20th century, Jim Thorpe, a Sac & Fox Indian, won two Olympic gold medals, played professional baseball and football and became the first president of the league that would become the NFL. Billy Mills, a Sioux who came off the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, scored one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history when he won the 10,000 meters in 1964.
Just last March, the NCAA Basketball Championships featured Native American standout players including: Bronson Koenig, Derek Willis, Lindy Waters III, Caitlyn Ramirez, and Chelsea Dungee.
Locally, MorningRose Tobey plays for the University of Nevada Women’s basketball team, while Angelica Shanrock, a 2017 graduate of Spanish Springs High, signed a letter of intent to play colligate ball at College of Skskiyous.