On Mar. 10 the AIA will host its first ever Native American Basketball Classic at Arizona State University.
The AIA looks to celebrate Native American heritage and culture from around the state in the showcase at Wells Fargo Arena.
“We want to bring together as many Native cultures as possible in an environment that the participants and fans can share history and culture,” said AIA Executive Director David Hines in a press release. “Native American schools have provided so many positives to the AIA as a whole, and that includes success in the athletic arena. It’s great when we can recognize the impact these schools have had in our state.”
The showcase will feature five games: two boys, two girls and one unified. The matches are meant to provide competition between tribal schools of different nations across the state and conferences.
The lineup (with conference affiliation and regular season finish):
Noon - Girls: Monument Valley (3A, No. 12) vs. Valley (Sanders) (2A, No. 3)
2 p.m. - Boys: Page (3A, No. 9) vs. Alchesay (2A, No. 3)
4 p.m. - Unified: Hopi vs. Page
5 p.m. - Girls: San Carlos (2A, No. 7) vs. Ganado (3A, No. 1)
7 p.m. - Boys: Chinle (3A, No. 6) vs. San Carlos (2A, No. 6)
The showcase will have pregame National Anthems sung in Native American languages, halftime entertainment highlighting the participants’ cultures and the Hopi High School JROTC Color Guard will present the state and national flags.
The AIA will supply hotel rooms and some of the travel costs for the schools.
All five games will be streamed live for free on AZPreps365.com through the NFHS Network.