Sports

Brent Cahwee: Shoni Schimmel brings her show to the WNBA





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Shoni Schimmel was drafted by the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA with the 8th pick this past Monday night. Photo COURTESY/WNBA

Shoni Schimmel, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, is headed to the WNBA:
It’s been called the “Schimmel Show”, “Rez Rising”, and even the “Showtime Shoni Show” but whatever you want to label it, it is something that is already being felt by the WNBA league since the Atlanta Dream drafted Shoni Schimmel, the former Louisville standout from the Confederate Tribes of the Umatilla Indian reservation.

With Shoni Schimmels crowd of followers from the Louisville athletic community and from the hundreds of thousands Native American tribal members, the WNBA is already starting to get “Schimmel’d”, a term used commonly at the Louisville women’s basketball games when Shoni left defenders and head coaches scratching their heads at her moves on the court. Since the draft, it was published by ESPN that this year’s WNBA draft was most watched women’s draft in ESPN history since they began broadcasting it live for television viewers. Nielsen ratings put the viewership around 413,000 viewers despite not having the same star studded draft as the 2013 WNBA draft which featured Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne, and Skylar Diggins, three of the most prominent names in women’s college basketball history over the past 5 years. To put that in perspective, last year’s Major League Baseball draft only had 277,000 viewers according to Nielsen ratings and that sport is what is commonly known as America’s pastime.

A year ago, Shoni and her sister Jude, became national sensations and role models for Native Americans all across the country when they made an improbable run improbably run into the Final Four and put Native American basketball style of play, commonly known as “rez ball”, on the map. Making it into the Final Four as a number five seed, the Cardinals crashed their way through the Oklahoma City regional with upset wins over number four seed Purdue and the number one overall seed of the tournament, then undefeated Baylor, and then the final upset in the regional was the win over Tennessee.

Get the Story:
Brent Cahwee: WNBA is about to learn about the Shoni Schimmel Effect (NDNSPORTS.COM 4/21)

Related Stories:
Native Sun News: Shoni Schimmel is a role model for youth (4/21)
Umatilla player Shoni Schimmel drafted by Atlanta WNBA team (04/15)