How to Get Involved

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The NABI Foundation was established in 2002 by Mark West, Vice President of Player Programs, Phoenix Suns; Scott Podleski of the Arizona Rattlers; NABI Foundation CEO & President, GinaMarie Scarpa, as well as endorsements from Donnie Nunez and Jerry Colangelo. As a result, the Mission and Vision of the Foundation was established, leading to the first Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) in 2003.
The Foundation would advance by way of sponsorship from the Phoenix Suns and Nike, as well as support from Native American governing bodies; notably, Tex G. Hall, President of the National Congress of American Indians, and Ernie Stevens, President of the National Indian Gaming Association. Predicated on these acknowledgements, financial endowments would ensue from Ak-Chin Indian Community; Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation; Salt River Pima- Maricopa Indian Community. In turn, generating development opportunities.
By the following year, the NABI Tournament hosted 45 teams, the largest Native American basketball tournament in North America and Canada. And by 2005, the Foundation reached 64 teams, attaining supplemental support from national tribes, leading to the Foundation’s establishment of scholarship opportunities for Native American high school athletes, which to-date has allocated over $250,000 in scholarship funds; accordingly, the NABI Fund was developed through the implementation of the “College & Career Fair” at the 2007 Tournament, providing participating athletes a chance to meet with colleges and universities invited to attend NABI.
The Foundation has become a positive staple for Native communities, reaching a mean of 128 teams from 2014 to 2017. NABI’s growth is a testament to the hard work and dedication of its Staff, Board of Directors, Coaches, and Student-Athletes, as well as exceptional support from major sponsors: Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, Ak-Chin Tribe, Seminole Tribe (Florida), and Nike N7. Because of this, the Foundation will continue to proudly serve our Native American youth and communities..


Define Staff Functionality and Differentiation

  • Utilization of staff strengths through assessment of roles and objectives (2018);
  • Educate the greater community of personnel and his/her background (2018);
  • Improvement of continuity between staff that encompasses shared practices (2018);
  • Improvement of continuity between staff, the board of directors, coaches, student-athletes, and families (2018);
  • Implementation of internal policies and procedures handbook (2018).

Integration of Educational and Instructional Resources

  • Support and empower NABI staff through professional development opportunities (2018);
  • Review present operations as it relates to instructional opportunities for Coaches and Players (2018);
  • Support and empower student athletes through Educational Summit during NABI Week (2018-2020)
  • Support and empower present and new coaches through clinic-based opportunities (2018);
  • Support and empower present and new student-athletes through clinic-based opportunities (2018)
  • Optimize use of community venues/space to effectively operate clinics for coaches and players (2018).

Integration of Organizational Resources to Strengthen Program

  • In conjunction with Advisory Council, incorporate resources that benefit Coaches and Player’s understanding of the game (2018-2020);
  • Implementation of online/website resources for Coaches and Players as it relates to fundamentals of the game, effective use of practice time, and game-play strategy (2018-2020);
  • Implementation of Player and Coaches Clinics to strengthen knowledge and skill set within the game (2018-2020);
  • Implementation of an outdoor venue to employ Player and Coaches Camps and Clinics (2018-2020).


Integrate Benchmarks that are Financially Attainable

  • Establish a Reserve fund for future growth (2018);
  • Define and retain a financial scope that outlines principal value (2018-2019);
  • Increase fundraising efforts to sustain and solicit new sponsorship (2018-2020)
  • Review and attainment of endowment opportunities to generate revenue (2018-2020);
  • Institute a 3-year monetary plan to establish fundraising objectives, as well as qualitative and quantitative cash flow/debt management (2018-2020).

Strengthen Internal Benefits and Resources

  • Establish and allocate a Holiday bonus for employees (2018);
  • Establish board-approved 401K/retirement plan for employees starting January 1, 2018 (2018);
  • Implementation of an annual assessment to support and aid in the development of staff (2018);
  • Establish and extend professional development opportunities for staff (2018-2020).

Strengthen External Benefits and Resources

  • Sustainability and growth of the NABI Scholarship Fund to $10,000.00 per student-athlete, which includes the development of an Award’s Committee for 2018 (2018);
  • Establish an Educational Summit to support and empower student-athletes during NABI Week (2018-2020);
  • Establish Coach and Player Clinics & Camps that are comprised of current and former Collegiate & Professional players (2018-2020);
  • Implementation of an annual gathering that recognizes the dedicated Volunteers of the Foundation (2019).

The NABI Foundation has instituted a 3-year Strategic Plan for the organization’s sustainability and growth. Accordingly, the plan’s objective is to bond the greater NABI Community through Athletic and Educational Resources.


The NABI Foundation is a national foundation committed to supporting native American youth by implementing programs that encourage higher education, sport, health & wellness and community building.


Create Encourage and support Native American youth now and through their journey as they discover who tehy are, what they want to be, and how they can impact future generations.


To raise a generation of leaders by creating the spark that ignites Native American youth to set their sights higher, make the most of their potential and reach their dreams.





Outline and Educate the Importance of Diversity within our Community

  • Review and acknowledgement of our Mission to better understand how to be mission-drive (2018);
  • Review and focus regarding differentiation: Foundation v. Tournament (2018);
  • Educate the greater community on the importance of being academic-drive through sport (2018-2020);
  • Familiarity and acknowledgement of cultural articulacy (2018-2020).

Advancement of Communication Ploys: Content, Practice, and Outcome

  • Review of messaging systems, with the point of emphasis on transparency (2018);
  • Develop a comprehensive and principal communication plan for internal use (2018);
  • Streamline communication ploys internally to effectively communicate with our community (2018-2019);
  • Outline protocol and best practices for channels of communication (2018-2019);
  • Integrate a Development and Marketing plan to aggressively message and brand our product and service (2018-2020).

Effective Communication of Program/Events

  • Review and establish primary lines of communication by way of Players, Coaches, and Families (2018);
  • Review and analysis of annual calendar to apply programs and events applicable to the Foundation’s Mission and Vision (2018);
  • Provide online/website resources for Coaches and Players as it relates to fundamentals of the game, effective use of practice time, and game-play strategy (2018-2020);
  • Review past testimonials to update and communicate recent success testimonies (2018-2020);
  • Provide internal support/resources to better communicate and serve our community (2018-2020).


Cultivation of the Foundation’s Philosophy

  • Enhancement of the NABI Nation brand by way of tangible (onsite) and online marketing ploys (2018-2020);
  • Empower and support NABI Alumni through “Giving Bags” during their college experience.  Thus, keeping alumni informed and connected to the Foundation’s Mission and Vision as part of his/her educational journey (2018-2020);
  • Incorporate transportation means for equipment for tournament play, camps/clinics, and other applicable programs/events (2019);
  • Partner with East and West coast tribes to establish “Road to NABI” Tournaments (2020);
  • Determine appropriation of a 3-to-5-year Strategic Plan as it relates to financial stability/propensity for growth (2020).