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NABI staff watching the game from sign in table in GYM 1B at Maricopa High School in Maricopa, Ariz. on June 27, 2016.

Decision to cancel was based solely on the health and welfare of Native youth & community

PHOENIX — The NABI Foundation today cancelled its annual Native American youth basketball invitational and annual educational youth summit that was scheduled for June 21-27, 2020 in Phoenix.

It is with a heavy heart that we are sad to officially announce that due to the current COVID 19 pandemic, the NABI Foundation has moved forward with the full cancellation of the 18th Annual Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) and 2nd Annual Educational Youth Summit (NABI),” GinaMarie Scarpa, president and CEO NABI Foundation said in a statement. 

Scarpa says the decision was based solely on the health and welfare of all the youth and Native American communities.

“As this pandemic continues to move across our globe and bring devastation to our tribal nations, we are urging all our communities to abide by the preventative measures that are currently being put in place by our local, national and tribal governments in order to assist in containing and combating the virus. Please continue to protect our most vulnerable and precious elders,” Scarpa said.

The NABI attracts between 110 – 120 teams of Native youths from different parts of Indian Country. The annual tournament has become the largest all-Native American Basketball Invitational, and the first all Native American Basketball Tournament sanctioned by the NCAA. During the course of its history, the NABI Foundation has awarded more than $250,000 in scholarship funds, 

The invitational promised to work on a “Recovery & Relief” plan to ensure the success of our non-profit and the future of all NABI programs.

Registered teams will have the option of a full refund or be automatically entered into the 2021 NABI. All teams will receive a communication on the options in the next week.

Scarpa is hopeful that NABI Foundation events planned for the fall can be held as planned.

“Once restrictions are lifted, we hope to bring our Jr. NABI basketball camps, in partnership with the Jr. Suns & Jr. Mercury, to our local tribal youth, as well as move forward with our fundraising events to include: the NABI Foundation Golf Classic, rescheduled for October 5, 2020 and our 1st Annual NABI Alumni Classic (adult 21 & over) basketball tournament scheduled for December 2020, Scarpa said.

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