Indian basketball tournament kicks off in Arizona
The seventh annual Native American Basketball Invitational began in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday.

The tournament is open to high school players across Indian Country. This year, 38 boys' and 26 girls' teams are competing for top honors.

"You'll hear in our culture that the beating drum is the heartbeat of our people, but I always correlate it to the bouncing ball in the gym," Sam McCracken, the general manager for Native American business for event sponsor Nike, told the Associated Press.

The NCAA certified the tournament in 2007, allowing college coaches and scouts to attend the games and recruit talent.

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Native American players looking for recognition (AP 7/9)