The 2019 National Indian Basketball Tournament will be held in Fort Hall, Idaho, starting on Thursday, July 25 to Saturday, July 27 at the Shoshone-Bannock Jr/Sr High School and Timbee Hall. The National Tournament has grown in size and prestige over the years. The tournament represents 12 different states and 28 teams from throughout the U.S.
The Tournament is the result of the Fort Hall NIAA, community, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel and many community sponsors. Fort Hall Reservation was chosen by the Nationals Association because it is centrally located in Indian Country. Tribal elder, Lionel Boyer is this year’s event coordinator, he states, “We anticipate over 300 players, 500 fans and visitors attending Fort Hall for this tournament.” Boyer has been an active participant as a player and now an active fan of watching his grandchildren and great grandchildren play the sport. He was one for the first Native American referees certified to referee in the Idaho High School Athletic Association for High School basketball and former Chairman of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe.
Teams are coming in from Washington, Montana, Kansas, Oregon, and Arizona to compete for the NIAA National Indian Basketball Tournament Championship. The best Indian basketball players from throughout Indian Country will be coming to compete in one of the toughest Indian Tournaments in the country. There are over 42 college players representing Division I, II, and Junior College conferences. There will be a number of American Indian professional basketball players such as Shoni Schimmel and Jena Plumly who will be participating again this year. An autograph table will be set up for the community to meet and greet our special guests. Also, some of the collegiate and professional tournament players will be hosting a youth basketball camp the following week in collaboration with the Fort Hall Recreation program.
The Fort Hall NIAA and community is proud of their reservation and welcomes all visitors to come out and watch the tournament games. A schedule of games will be posted at the Timbee Hall and Sho-Ban high school. This is an opportunity to see the best American Indian basketball players in the country. No other Indian Tournament draws so much talent. Family wristbands for entry will be sold on Thursday, July 25, 2019.
For more information, visit the Facebook page: 2019 NIAA Basketball Nationals.