Shoni Schimmel excelled in her senior year as a Louisville Cardinal. Photo by: Michelle Hutchins – Louisville Athletics
LAWRENCE, KANSAS— Back in November, at the start of the college basketball season, we wrote the article titled, “10 Native American Basketball Players to watch this College Basketball season.” It wasn’t a list of all the Native American college basketball players competing in college athletics but it was list of players we thought that could have a significant impact for their respective teams this season. Little did we know how successful the players on this list would be. The list would include a NAIA National Champion and first ever Native American MVP, more than a few Freshman of the Year recipients, a Final Four participant, a record breaker and the most heralded basketball player in Native Basketball history.
Here is the link read our pre-season list of the 10 players:
Now lets see how they finished:
10. Preston Wynne, (Spokane Tribe) a 6-1 senior guard for Vanguard University out of Costa Mesa, California, led his Vanguard Lions to the men’s 2014 NAIA Division 1 National Championship and earned tournament honors by making the 1st team all tournament and he became the first ever Native American named the Tournament MVP. Preston also led his team to the Golden State Athletic Conference regular season & tournament championship and was named the GSAC Player of the Year this season as well.
8. Keli Warrior, (Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma) a 6-1 freshman center for Haskell Indian Nations University out of Lawrence, Kansas, was named the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year and she also earned First Team All Conference. Keli finished the regular season #1 in scoring for the conference, #2 in points per game, #2 in total blocks, #2 in blocks per game, #7 in total rebounds, and #7 in rebounds per game.
7. Abby Scott, (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) a 6-1 guard for New Mexico State University out of Las Cruces, New Mexico, had a break out season for the Aggies. Against Chicago State, Abby made (11) 3-pointers to break not only the NMSU school record but also the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) record for 3-pointers in a game. Abby finished the season ranked #1 in the women’s NCAA Division 1 in 3 points made in a game. She now sits tied for third in the NMSU Aggie record book for most points in a game.
6. Bronson Koenig, (Ho-Chunk Nation) a 6-3 freshman point guard for the University of Wisconsin out of Madison, Wisconsin, was the leading 6th man off the bench this season as a freshman for the Badgers and led the bench in minutes at 15.1 minutes per game. His season was highlighted by leading the Badgers with 11 points at Half-time in the Final Four game versus the Kentucky Wildcats.
5. Shauna Long, (Standing Rock Sioux) a 5-4 junior guard for Lamar University out of Beaumont, Texas, led the team in 3 point shots made this season for the Cardinals by making a total of 68 this season. Shauna averaged 10 points a game for the Cardinals this season and also helped lead the team to the Southland Conference regular season championship and a birth into the Women’s WNIT tournament.
4. Seth Youngblood, (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) a 6-1 freshman guard for the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, was named the Heartland Conference Freshman of the Year for the NCAA Division II conference out of Texas. Youngblood, a native of Roland, Okla., averaged a team-high 14.5 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field (122 for 244), 44 percent from 3-point range (72 for 163) and 79 percent from the free-throw line (60 for 76). He also averaged 2.3 rebounds per game. He was third on the team with 53 assists and second on the team with 14 steals.
3. Tesha Buck, (Prairie Island Indian Community) a 5-11 freshman guard for the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, was named the Horizon Leagues Freshman of the Year. The Horizon League is a NCAA Division 1 conference. A four time freshman of the week honoree, Buck started all 28 games for the Phoenix this season to become the first true freshman to start since Sarah Eichler during the 2009-10 season. Averaging 10.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals, Buck led the team in both assists and steals per game, and was the top freshman in the conference in each category but rebounding.
2. Marshal Henderson, (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) a 6-2 senior guard for the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) was named to the All-SEC second team this season. Henderson, a second team All-SEC pick a year ago as well, finished conference play ranked third in the league in scoring at 19.1 points per game and ranked third in the nation hitting 4.29 3-pointers a game. He has also made a 3-pointer in an SEC record 66-straight games dating back to last season. Henderson also picked up the All-District second team honors from the US Basketball Writers Association for the second-consecutive year.
1. Shoni Schimmel, (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation). Shoni finished out her college career with an outstanding senior season. This season Schimmel was named to the USBWA All-American team and named a second team ESPNW All-American. She was also a WBCA All-Region I selection. Schimmel was named a first team All-American Athletic Conference and earned all-tournament honors. She was also named a Naismith semifinalist and named to the Wooden ballot. Shoni was also named second team All-American by the Associated Press and named WBAC 2nd team All-American. This year she became the second player in school history to score 2,000 career points and she currently ranks second on Louisville’s all-time scoring list with 2,143 points. Schimmel also has dished out 596 assists and pulled down 547 rebounds.
Again, this isn’t a complete list of all the Native American athletes that won awards this season. Just the ones we thought would have a chance to by season’s end but it would be important to name those we know of as well, so here a few more:
- Nikki Lewis (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma), a senior guard for Tabor College, was named the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conferences’ Player of the Year.
- Jordyn Kirk (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate), a sophomore forward for Lake Region State College, was named the Mon-Dak Most Valuable Player of the Year
If you know any that we have omitted please by all means send the information to us so we can update the list. We are looking forward to another great year of Native American basketball next season.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in NDNSports.com. Used with permission.