by Brent Cahwee, NDNSPORTS.COM
(Oregon) – As the basketball season approaches all across the country for the many colleges and high schools the parents of Shoni and Jude Schimmel, Rick and Cici, released a statement today expressing gratitude to all of the supporters of their family.
The family noted, “As we are so busy just getting through the day sometimes we forget to think about and to thank our friends for what they mean to us. You are always in our hearts and prayers.”
Shoni and Jude Schimmel are of course the two famed Native American basketball players at the University of Louisville who exploded on to the national scene with the Cardinals Women’s basketball team as they marched through the NCAA tournament last season on their way to a national runner-up finish and inspiring many Native Americans from all across the country.
Since that time the family has been on a whirlwind tour across Indian Country and befriending countless tribes and fans along the way.
“We definitely had a busy but productive summer visiting 17 reservations and speaking to over 20,000 Natives. We hope the time we have taken to visit so many places has been a rewarding and inspiring moment in the lives of the people we have had the pleasure to meet.” said the family.
One of those highlights of the summer was a trip to the annual Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) where Shoni and Jude were awarded the Phil Homeratha Leadership Award. At the time Jude was the only one of the dynamic duo on site to accept the award(s) as Shoni was competing with the USA Women’s University basketball squad at the World University Games in Russia. The Schimmel family was able to catch a lot of the basketball games and visit with the fans of the family.
Shoni, now a senior at Louisville and Jude a junior, will be starting the season in the next few weeks and will look to make another run for the National Championship.
The family said, “No promises of another Cinderella run through the NCAA tournament this year, but we certainly plan for an exciting season. “
The family is also asking those that are able to this season, to show up and show your support for Shoni’s final game in March.
“I want to highlight the March 3rd game which will be Senior Night. We are encouraging as many of our friends and family to try to attend this game if possible. This will be Shoni’s last regular season game at Louisville and we play UConn so we want to show her lots of support.” said Rick Schimmel.
Whether they make it back to the National Championship game or not, you can bet that the outpouring of support and love for the Schimmels will continue and you can bet there should be more than a handful of Native supporters at Shoni’s final game for the Cardinals. See you there!