Published May 16, 2018
FORT HALL, IDAHO – The 2018 National Basketball Tournament will be held in Fort Hall, Idaho starting this Thursday, May 17th, 18th and 19th at the Shoshone-Bannock Jr/Sr High School and local Timbee Hall Gym. The National Tournament has grown in size and prestige over the last ten years. Since 2015, the Fort Hall Reservation has hosted the National Tournament under the coordination of the Fort Hall NIAA Organization led by Merle & Carolyn-Boyer Smith, Marvin Osborne and family in 2017 and this year tribal elder, Lionel Boyer will coordinate. The tournament represents 17 different States and 30 teams from throughout the United States and Indian Country.
Teams that have registered are coming in from Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Montana and Arizona are coming to Fort Hall to compete for the NIAA National Indian Basketball Tournament Championship. According to the Smith family, “The best Indian basketball players from throughout Indian Country will be coming to compete in one of the toughest Indian Tournaments in the country. We will have over 58 college players representing Division I, II, and Junior College conferences.” Professional basketball players such as former NBA player A.C. Green from the Los Angeles Lakers, Shoni Schimmel (current WNBA player with Las Vegas Aces) and Jena Plumley (former WNBA from Oklahoma) will be participating at this year’s Tournament. In 2017, Shoni Schimmel was named the NIAA women basketball champion, MVP and 3-point shooter champion. A table will be set up (location/date/time TBA) where visitors can get autographs from the players including Shoni Schimmel and Jenna Plumley.
The Tournament is the result of the Fort Hall NIAA, the Fort Hall community, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, the Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel and many community sponsors of the awards. NIAA chose Fort Hall Reservation because it is centrally located in the Rocky Mountain region in Indian Country. Merle Smith states, “It is anticipated that we will see over 500 fans and visitors attending the Tournament this weekend. The Fort Hall NIAA Organization will be hosting a feed for the players on Saturday, May 19th at Sho-Ban high school cafeteria around 5PM.” Admission prices are $5 per adult/ Teenage (7-17 years old) $3.00 / Senior citizens are $1.00 / 6 & under are $1.00. There will be a family package that includes 4-wrist bands for sale at $30.00/each available on Thursday, May 17th at Timbee Hall.
Shoshone-Bannock Jr/Sr high school will have an open house during the tournament to visit the beautiful tribal school. The staff and the Principal are proud of the students who attend their school and wish the community to take some time to visit the school during the Tournament.
The Fort Hall NIAA and Fort Hall community are proud of their reservation and welcomes all visitors to come and enjoy the Tournament. This is an opportunity to see the best basketball players in Indian country. No other Indian Tournament draws so much talent. The basketball brackets will be posted on the official NIAA Facebook page, please like, 2018 NIAA Basketball Nationals. Photos, videos, and other information will be posted regularly on the Facebook page and also on the Tribes Facebook page, search, shobantribes.