Rhonda LeValdo in Entertainment. Discussion »
NEW ORLEANS As the final seconds ticked down, two young women became the only Native Americans to ever play in a National division 1 basketball title game. Fans in the arena cheered and lulu'd as they watched these two accomplish a feat never done before.
Shoni Schimmel and Jude Schimmel, tribal members from the Confederated Tribe of Umatilla Indians and basketball players on the Louisville Cardinal team said while they were disappointed in the loss, they felt they made a lot of people notice their team as they were the lowest seed ever to make it to the championship game.
“We are not going to hang our heads, we accomplished a lot, we were one of 64 other teams to get here and to be the only two left we came up short, they (Connecticut) played a great game tonight ”,
stated Shoni Schimmel.
Shoni Schimmel was held to only 9 points in the game while her sister Jude added 7 points. The final score was Louisville 60 Connecticut 93.
Jude Schimmel talked about the influence of their presence as Native people in the national championships,
“I hope we are a big inspiration to Native American people to believe in their dreams”.
For those fans who made the trip to New Orleans, although the Cardinals did not win, they were still proud of the Schimmels.
“To me they still succeeded because not a lot of Native Americans can do what they are doing now,”
replied Tara Steve a member of Missisippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
One family drove over twenty hours from New Mexico to see the sisters.Shoni Schimmel said,
“Its crazy how people come from all over to see us play, we appreciate that, thank you for all your support.”
As for next year, both sisters will return, Shoni will be a senior and Jude will be a junior. Shoni said their success this year will help them improve and "they definitely will be back next year".
photo credit Rhonda LeValdo;
posted April 10, 2013 10:10 am edt