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Old 12-19-2006, 03:13 PM   #1
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Diana Taurasi becomes 2007 NABI Honorary Commissioner

CONTACT: GinaMarie Scarpa-Mabry, NABI, 602-265-2770

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2006





Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi becomes Honorary Commissioner of NABI/Native American Basketball Invitational





PHOENIX, ARIZ. – The Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI), the largest all Native American tournament in North America, titled sponsored by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, proudly announces that through their partnership with Nike, Diana Taurasi will become NABI’s first Honorary Commissioner.



“Nike has been a sponsor of NABI since the tournament’s inception in 2003. Our national tournament, organized for the sole purpose of creating college scholarship opportunities for Native American high school athletes, will feature 80 tribal teams from the U.S and Canada. Nike’s willingness to stand beside our efforts to make NABI successful has been instrumental in our rapid growth” says GinaMarie Scarpa-Mabry, Co-founder of NABI.



“Supporting NABI and getting Nike athletes involved is an opportunity for Nike to continue our commitment to supporting Native youth sports programs” says Sam McCracken, Manager Native American Businesses Nike.



Since its inception, NABI has created numerous opportunities for Native American students to receive college athletic scholarships. “We are using basketball as a tool to encourage Native youth to pursue higher education,” says Mark West, Vice-President of Player Programs for the Phoenix Suns and Co-founder of NABI. “Their exceptional talent and passion for the game makes them prime candidates for scholarship opportunities but, due to the demographics of most reservations they do not always get to show off their talents to college recruiters” added West. “NABI is dedicated to organizing this tournament to showcase high school athletes from reservation from all over North America. We are bringing the talent to one city.”



NABI’s goal for the July 2007 tournament is to become a NCAA certified summer event, which will make NABI the first all Native American tournament certified by the NCAA. NABI will continue to provide NABI participants with educational grants through the NABI Foundation. Championship Games will be played at the US Airways Center Saturday July 14, 2007.



Sponsors included Nike, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, US Airways Center, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Ak-Chin Indian Community, The Native Voice, 21Native.com, Navajo Times and Arizona Republic.



Proceeds from the event will benefit the NABI Foundation. For information about NABI, the NABI Foundation, team registration, sponsorship and volunteer opportunities contact 602-265-2770 or visit the official NABI website at www.NABIHOOPS.com.
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