At the 2014 WNBA All-Star Game, supporters of rookie phenom Shoni Schimmel, Umatilla, cheered her on wearing "Rez Ball Rules" t-shirts. It wasn't only a slogan -- it was also a prophetic statement.
Schimmel, who plays for the Atlanta Dream but does not start, was selected to the first team of the Eastern Conference All-Star squad thanks to a flood of votes from Indian country. To show her appreciation, she poured in an unprecedented 29 points to lead her team to a one-point overtime win.
AP Photo/Matt York
East's Shoni Schimmel, of the Atlanta Dream, holds the MVP trophy after the WNBA All-Star basketball game, Saturday, July 19, 2014, in Phoenix. The East won 125-124 in overtime.
The total was the highest ever by a player in the All-Star Game, breezing past the previous record of 24 points, set by Candace Parker in last year's All-Star Game. Schimmel's seven three-pointers also set a new All-Star Game record. Her eight assists were the most of any player on the court, and she also grabbed three rebounds and two steals.
"It was awesome, just to be able to go out there and play my game, have fun, feel free to go out there and play rez ball," Schimmel said, according to the recap at ESPN.com.
She added: "To have the fans look up to me and to a role model not only for my siblings but also the Native American fans, the Native American people. It's huge. I take on my shoulders because I enjoy it."