The “Umatilla Thrilla” Keeps Instilling Native Pride in Indian Country
“In Indian country, she is changing lives,” her mother, Ceci, said after the game.
PHOENIX – The “Umatilla Thrilla”—a.k.a. “Showtime Shoni”—garnered more Native pride throughout Indian country on Saturday as she scored 29 points during the WNBA All-Star game.
Atlanta Dream rookie Shoni Schimmel, a tribal citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, was named the Most Valuable Player of the WNBA All-Star, scoring an All-Star game record 29 points with eight assists while leading the East to a 125-124 overtime victory over the West.
Schimmel scored 24 of her points during the second half and overtime to break the All-Star game record of 23 points set by Candace Parker last season. She attempted a whopping 16 three-pointers, sinking seven.
“It was awesome, just to be able to go out there and play my game, have fun,” said Schimmel, “feel free to go out there and play ‘rez ball.”
Some 17 Schimmel family members surrounded Shoni after the game.
“In Indian country, she is changing lives,” her mother, Ceci, said after the game. “They look up to her. We’ve gotten letters from girls who say they are inspired to do things because of her.”
“It’s the same old Shoni, just a different stage,” commented Shoni’s sister, Jude Schimmel. “She’s been playing like this since she was 4 years old. To see her do it on a stage like this, it’s crazy, and I’m so happy for her. And I’m thrilled that so much of my family was here to see it.”
Schimmel was one of three Dream players in the East’s starting lineup, as Angel McCoughtry totaled 13 points and seven rebounds, while Erika de Souza added eight points and four rebounds in limited minutes.
The Dream’s trio of players, who were coached by Dream head coach Michael Cooper, combined to sink 21-of-41 field goals, combining to score 40 percent (50 points) of the East’s 125 points. Schimmel is the first Dream player ever to earn All-Star game MVP honors.