Shoni Schimmel, a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, plays for the New York Liberty professional basketball team. Photo: Shoni Schimmel
Where are the next Shoni Schimmels and Bronson Koenigs of college basketball?
Monteau, a citizen of the Chippewa Cree Tribe, urges coaches and recruiters to pay more attention to Indian Country:
Why don’t more collegiate level coaches and recruiters take a serious look at the very talented Native American junior and senior high school basketball players we know are out here in Indian country? We know there are more Shoni and Jude Schimmels, Bronson Koenigs, Derek Willises and Beatty Sisters out there. How do we get them exposed to NCAA Division 1 and other college basketball level coaches and recruiter organizations? Even UCONN women’s coach, Geno Auriemma, acknowledged in an interview that he knows there must be other Shoni Schimmels out there.
We have all heard the anecdotal excuses, some real and some mythical, that let the coaches and recruiters off the hook and which discourage our young men and women from believing that they can play at the collegiate level, even NCAA Division 1. I will list a few:
They would rather stay home and play Independent League ball or Indian Community College Basketball. (Nothing wrong with 1-2 years and then make the jump, but need exposure.)
They can’t make it academically. (We know we have scholar athletes that are the exception. Also, tutors and advisors are available at the collegiate level.)
They get lonely with no support system. (Identify mentoring resources and host families or organizations.)
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Where are the Next Shoni Schimmels and Bronson Koenigs in College Basketball?
(Indian Country Media Network 4/17)