NABI History

2002

  • Mark West Vice President Players Programs /Phoenix Suns, Scott Podleski/Arizona Rattlers, and GinaMarie Scarpa/Former Executive Director/AC Green Youth Foundation form POD Productions, creators and organizers of the NABI tournament
  • Donnie Nunez joins NABI as Director of Games and Officiating
  • Jerry Colangelo/Owner of Phoenix Suns, endorses NABI
  • 2003

  • NABI debuted in July 2003 with the Phoenix Suns supporting and sponsoring the event
  • NABI immediately got the attention of global sporting apparel giant Nike and Nike becomes a major sponsor
  • NABI hosted 24 all Native American teams comprised of high school student athletes
  • Championship Games played at American West Arena, home of the Phoenix Suns
  • Tex G. Hall/President National Congress of American Indians becomes NABI’s Honorary Chairman
  • Ernie Stevens/President National Indian Gaming Association becomes NABI’s Honorary Vice-Chairman
  • NABI helped create opportunities for five NABI athletes to receive college scholarships
  • Chance Rush is selected to be NABI’s first Emcee and national spokes person
  • 2004

  • Ak-Chin Indian Community, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community along with Phoenix area tribes sponsor NABI.
  • NABI hosted 45 all Native American teams.
  • Karl Jim/ Navajo of 21Native.com becomes official graphic and web designer of NABI
  • Championship Games played at American West Arena, home of the Phoenix Suns.
  • NABI is officially considered the largest all Native tournament in the U.S. & Canada
  • April 2004: NABI receives the “President’s Leadership Award” from NIGA
  • NABI creates another nine college scholarship opportunities
  • 2005

  • Fort McDowell becomes the title sponsor of NABI 2005
  • Nike, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Seminole Tribe of Florida,local and national tribes commit again to sponsoring NABI.
  • NABI breaks a record of 97 teams applying in the first two weeks of tournament registration opening.
  • NABI hosted 64 all Native American teams
  • Championship Games played at American West Arena, home of the Phoenix Suns.
  • NABI is televised live on AZTV
  • NABI creates another six college scholarship opportunities
  • NABI donates $25,000 to the NABI Fund under the Arizona Community Foundation
  • NABI awards two grants to Native American students through the NABI Fund
  • 2006

  • Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community becomes NABI 2006 Title Sponsor and commits to playing host to NABI games.
  • NABI hosted 64 all Native American teams
  • Nike, Ak-Chin Indian Community & Fort McDowell again commit to sponsoring NABI
  • NABI awards five grants to Native American students & Native American scholarship funds through the NABI Fund
  • Championship games televised live on AZTV at U.S Airways Center, home of the Phoenix Suns, Saturday July 15, 2006.
  • 2007

  • NABI announces 2007 dates; July 8-14, 2007
  • Nike commits to NABI for 2007 along, with a new sponsor, Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians.
  • NABI announces it will seek NCAA Certification for the July 2007 tournament, making NABI the first all Native American tournament certified by the NCAA
  • Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community commit again to become title sponsor of NABI 2007
  • Vincent Portalla joins the NABI staff as Director of Programs
  • NABI hosts 86 teams (46 boys & 40 girls) for the 5th Anniversary tournament.
  • NABI implements “NABI Career & College Fair” for athletes participating in NABI 2007
  • Diana Taurasi /WNBA/Phoenix Mercury becomes NABI’s Honorary Commissioner
  • Through NABI’s urging, the NCAA announces that all Native American tournaments are exempt from the NCAA “same state rule”. A monumental advancement in protecting tribal sovereignty.
  • NABI becomes the first all Native American Tournament certified by the NCAA.
  • Legendary LSU Coach Dale Brown makes a speaking appear at NABI 2007
  • NABI continues to grant scholarship to NABI athletes through the NABI Fund
  • NABI Alumni & 2003 MVP Anthony Brown/Cheyenne Arapaho signs pro with Spain.
  • 2008

  • NABI announces Native American Baseball Invitational, in partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks, to feature 16 boys’ baseball teams and 16 girls’ softball teams; July 2-6, 2008.
  • NABI will seek NCAA certification for the July 2008 basketball tournament; July 21-26, 2008
  • University of Phoenix becomes NABI 2008 title sponsor of NABI Basketball and Baseball
  • Nike commits to NABI for 2008
  • NABI hosts 80 teams (46 boys & 32 girls)
  • NABI donates $41,445.00 to Native American scholarship funds and national youth non-profits
  • 2009

  • NABI announces “Chasing the Sun 10K & Pow Wow”, in partnership with the Arizona Cardinals & University of Phoenix. First ever Pow Wow hosted a an NFL Stadium May 1-3.
  • NABI will again seek NCAA certification for the basketball tournament; July 7-11, 2009
  • Phoenix Sun Amar’e Stoudemire and Phoenix Mercury Diana Taurasi becomes NABI’s Honorary Commissioners.
  • NABI will again partner with the Arizona Diamondbacks to organize the Native American Baseball Invitational July 12-16, 2009
  • Launch NABI Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) youth organization: Create a scholarship fund & programs to serve Native American youth.
  • Nike N7 Fund donates $10,000 to the NABI Foundation
  • 2010

  • NABI hosts “Chasing the Sun 10K & Pow Wow”, in partnership with the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena, in Glendale, AZ. Sponsored by Ak-Chin Indian Community
  • NABI will seeks NCAA certification for the basketball tournament; July 6-10, 2010
  • NABI 2010 is dedicated in the memory of NABI Co-founder Scott Podleski
  • Grand Canyon University host GCU night for all NABI teams, featuring Extreme Snowboarder Lonnie Kauk
  • Former LA Laker and Phoenix Sun AC Green is NABI special guests at NABI Basketball Championship games
  • NABI partners with the Arizona Diamondbacks to organize the Native American Baseball Invitational  July 2010
  • NABI Co-founders gift NABI to the newly formed NABI Foundation
  • Tex G. Hall and Ernie Stevens Jr. elected to head up NABI Foundation as members of the Executive Board
  • Mark West/Phoenix Suns, Carolyn Sechler/Sechler CPA and Elaina West join NABI Foundation Board of Directors
  • GinaMarie Scarpa named NABI Foundation CEO
  • The official NABI Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) youth organization is in full operation:
  • NABI Foundation launched new website: www.nabifoundation.org
  • Nike N7 Fund donates $25,000 to the new NABI Foundation
  • Vincent Portalla joins NABI staff as Program Director
  • Ak-Chin Indian Community donated $125,000 to the new NABI Foundation
  • Grand Canyon University pledges $50,000 to the NABI Foundation for 2011
  • Rafael Tapia joins the NABI staff as Director of Development
  • NABI announces “Chasing the Sun 10K & Heath Expo”, presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community, Nike N7 and MERCK November 2011. To include a Social Pow Wow and Indian Market.
  • NABI announces 2011 Native American Basketball Invitational, in partnership with the Phoenix Suns, sponsored by Nike, N7, Ak-Chin Indian Community and Grand Canyon University  July 5-9, 2011
  • NABI adds Silver Division to 2011 Basketball Invitational
  • Roland Hemond/AZ Diamondbacks and Ray Artigue/Artigue Agency join NABI Foundation Board of Directors
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    2011

  • NABI partners with the Arizona Diamondbacks to organize the Native American Baseball & Softball Invitational July 20-23, 2011
  • NABI Basketball partners with the Phoenix Suns to organize NABI Basketball, presented by Nike, Ak-Chin Indian Community and Grand Canyon University on July 5-9, 2011. 92 teams register with representation from Alaska and Canada.
  • Ak-Chin Indian Community donates $50K to NABI Basketball
  • NABI Foundation launches “NABI Youth Physical Education Program” at Ak-Chin Indian Community
  • Nike N7 Fund donates $35,000 to the “NABI Youth Physical Education Program”
  • NABI Foundation launches “NABI Youth Motivational Presentations” in partnership with super star slam dunk artist Kenny “the Inventor” Dobbs. Program to focus on teen suicide prevention
  • Kenny “the Inventor” Dobbs becomes newest NABI Ambassador
  • Angelo Johnson joins the NABI staff as part-time Programs Assistant
  • NABI Basketball, in partnership with Kenny “the Inventor” Dobbs to host first Slam Dunk Contest at US Airways Center prior to championship games on Saturday July 9.
  • NABI Foundation honored at 2011 NIGA Conference, in Phoenix, AZ
  • Ak-Chin Indian Community donates $60K and becomes largest donor of the NABI Foundation
  • NABI joins the social network era and launches NABI Foundation Facebook and Twitter
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    2012

  • NABI Basketball, in partnership with the Phoenix Suns, will organize the 10th Anniversary of NABI Basketball, presented by Nike N7, Ak-Chin Indian Community and Grand Canyon University on July 11-15, 2012. To commemorate the anniversary and Arizona’s 100th Birthday, NABI goal is to register over 100 teams!
  • NABI in partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks to organize the Native American Baseball & Softball Invitational July 2012.
  • NABI will host the Chasing the Sun 10K & Health Fair, presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community, Saturday March 31, 2012 in Phoenix, AZ.
  • NABI will host the 1st Annual NABI Native American Heritage Day Celebration, presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community, Friday November 30, 2012.
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    2013

  • NABI Basketball reaches its goal of hosting 128 teams. 64 boys/64 girls! Championship games return to US Airways Center. New Zealand is represented by a girl’s team making NABI a global tournament!
  • NABI in partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks organizes NABI Baseball & Softball
  • NABI announces the PHX3on3 in partnership with Ak-Chin Indian Community. Sponsored by Fox10, US Airways Center, Phoenix Suns & Phoenix Mercury
  • BEARD organizes a golf tournament that raises $28,000 for the NABI Foundation.
  • Ak-Chin Indian Community donates $300,000 to the NABI Foundation.
  • NABI Foundation sponsors Basketball Hall of Fame’s Hoop Hall West Tournament. Bringing the top high school teams to AZ.
  •  

    2014

  • Ak-Chin Indian Community donates $550,000 to the NABI Foundation
  • NABI Basketball hosts another 128 teams. 64 boys/64 girls! New Zealand is represented by a girls and boys team!
  • NABI in partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks organizes NABI Baseball & Softball
  • NIKE N7 Fund and Verizon become the sponsors of the NABI Youth Physical Education Program/YPEP.
  • PHX3on3 debuts, in partnership with Ak-Chin Indian Community. Sponsored by Fox10, US Airways Center, Phoenix Suns & Phoenix Mercury. 48 courts surrounded US Airways Center.
  • BEARD organizes a 2nd annual golf tournament benefiting the NABI Foundation
  • NABI Foundation welcomes new board members: Bert Wells, Derrick Watchman, Corrine Wilson & Jason Coochwytewa.
  • NABI Foundation partners with the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Hoop Hall West Tournament to include an all Native American High School boys team to represent Native Country in their prestigious west coast tournament.
  • NABI Nation Official Apparel launches on October 21, featuring NABI & REZBall socks.
  • NABI CEO GinaMarie Scarpa passes the torch of operating the NABI Foundation to COO Elana Payton. Elana Payton has volunteered for NABI since its inception in 2003 and in 2011 joined the NABI Foundation Board of Directors.