All Indian Tournament Pulls Teams From Far and Wide

 

The Tournament Queen Raven-Simone Doolittle, Princess Jewelya Patino, and Nimbue McGinnis waiting to hand out the Championship Jackets./Photo by Iska George, TRT staff

The 50th Annual Hoopa All Indian Tournament took place last weekend from May 12-15 and looked to distinguish itself for its bicentennial anniversary by increasing the first place pot to ten thousand dollars. The promise of ten thousand dollars, custom detailed Pendleton jackets and immortality in the Indian basketball circuit drew in teams from across the U.S.

Basketball Teams from as far away as New York and Montana made the trip to the small Hoopa Indian Reservation to try their hand at the grand prize.

The tournament this year was dedicated to Hoopa’s first all Indian basketball team the 1962 Hoopa All Stars. The All-Stars roster includes Mike Ferris, Al Gray, Lincoln McCovey, Tom Morton, Dick Lindgren, Bernie Beeson, Jud Davis, Dennis Jackson, Jim Colegrove, Stan Ferris, John Roberts and Manager, Hilton Hostler and Coach, Fred Johnson.

This year’s tournament Warrior title was awarded to Kyle Brown, tournament queen was given to Raven-Simone Dancing Cloud Doolittle, the princess title was given to Jewelya Irene Patino, the little brave title was awarded to Dakota Kilihun Nikolis Xonahwe McGinnis, and little princess was awarded to Nimbue Ninsaan Nixon McGinnis. Along with the customary royalty contests all of the previous years’ queens were brought in and honored. The 50 years worth of queens and family members representing them packed the gym and were honored for their accomplishments.

Warrior Contest winner Kyle Brown and lttle brave winner Dakota McGinnis accept their awards./Photo by Iska George, TRT staff

Buck Jones of Pendleton Oregon was also honored being inducted into the Hoopa all Indian Basketball tournament hall of fame. Jones was given a hall of fame detailed Pendleton jacket in front of the gym full of fans which he had entertained in previous years. Current players came and shook Jones hand to pay respects for his contributions to the tournament as well as Indian basketball as a whole.

The Newest addition to the Hoopa All Indian Basketball Hall of Fame Buck Jones wearing his HOF 2011 jacket./Photo by Iska George, TRT staff

Although initially expected to host over twenty teams, nearly a dozen dropped out. Hoopa fans didn’t seem to notice and kept Mattz Gymnasium lively all weekend. The tournament started with exciting game after exciting game and remained that way throughout the weekend thanks to a great roster of teams.

The tournament was infused with some new energy from teams like Buffalo Nation and Harvest Natural Resources making their first appearances. The Veterans of the tournament were also present. Tournament regulars such as Stronghold, Cal-Skins, and Rez Wreckers all made appearances. The Rez Wreckers wore red Itasha jerseys which are instantly recognizable to the longtime fans of Hoopa All Indian Basketball.

On Sunday, after four days of basketball, the twelve teams were reduced to only two—the Rez Wreckers for and Harvest Natural Resources. They battled in a see-saw game until the Rez wreckers went on a scoring run with about ten minutes left in the game. The Rez Wreckers gained a double digit lead, the buzzer rang and the tournament was theirs.

Rez Wrecker player looks to finish strong against Harvest Natural Resources in the championship game./Photo by Iska George, TRT staff

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