Native American Youth Athletes to Attend NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena

PHOENIX — The NABI Foundation is turning a negative situation into a positive with the assist of a generous donor and the Phoenix Suns. With the Phoenix Suns advancing into The NBA Finals, the Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) Championship games scheduled for Saturday, July 17, 2021, at the Phoenix Suns Arena are preparing to relocate if there is a Finals game 5.

Enter Robert Shippy. Shippy, the owner of Rolling Plains Construction and a NABI Foundation annual donor, is committed to underwriting tickets for the NABI (boys and girls) winning Championship teams to attend game 5 of The NBA Finals at the Phoenix Suns Arena scheduled for Saturday, July 17 at 6:00 pm. Shippy says, “It is our honor to support the NABI Foundation by turning a bittersweet situation into a uniquely special one for our young Native American athletes who look forward to playing the championship game on an official NBA court. We enjoy supporting such a worthy organization that brings our tribal communities together in sport and helps develop future leaders. We look forward to seeing the memorable time they will have at the NBA Finals”.

With 124 all-Native American and Indigenous basketball teams traveling to Phoenix to compete in this summer’s 18th annual NABI invitational (434 basketball games in 5-days), playing the championship games at the Phoenix Suns Arena has always been a highlight of the tournament since its inception in 2003.

“As disappointing as this news is, it is hard not to feel the tremendous excitement of our Phoenix Suns advancing to the NBA Finals and look at this situation as turning lemons into a real tasty batch of lemonade. It could be an opportunity of a lifetime for our athletes, keeping in mind some have never been off their tribal lands. For our basketball players who love the game and traveled from all over North American to compete at NABI, I think it is better than saying I am going to Disneyland!” says GinaMarie Scarpa, NABI Foundation’s president and CEO.

The 18th Annual NABI kicks off on July 11 at various gyms around Phoenix. Championship games to relocate to Camelback High School Saturday, July 17. Doors open at 11 am. Full game schedules, locations, and access to the championship games live via NABI Network can be found on the NABI official website.

Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI), established in 2003, is the largest premier Indigenous basketball competition in North America. NABI showcases the athletic talent of Indigenous youth representing over 150+ tribal nations. In addition, it produces an Educational Youth Summit and College & Career Fair concurrent with tournament week to expose educational opportunities and topical workshops specific to the needs of Native American and Indigenous youth.

2021 Major Sponsors & Supporters Include Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, Phoenix Suns Charities, Phoenix Suns Arena, Gila River Indian Community, Nike N7, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Tohono O’odham Nation, Rolling Plains Construction, Arviso Okland Construction, KONE, Arizona Diamondbacks, Freeport McMoran, Phoenix Union High District, Phoenix College and Urias Communications.

To make a donation or for sponsorship information, please contact: 
GinaMarie Scarpa at

NABI Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.  Tax Exempt #43-1967299

SOURCE Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) Foundation


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