A rising star in NCAA basketball is coming to Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation to teach about basketball — and making good choices.
Shoni Schimmel, who helped lead the University of Louisville basketball team to the Sweet 16 in her freshman year this year, and her sister Jude Schimmel, who has signed a letter of intent to join the Lady Cards next year, will hold a basketball camp at the Rocky Boy Wellness Center Wednesday through Friday.
Huck Sunchild, Wellness Center director, said the camp will be about much more than basketball.
“Its intended to motivate …, ” Sunchild said. “She will give her story and hopefully motivate others to follow in her path. ”
Shoni Schimmel has been a basketball star since she started playing as a child, where she was growing up on the Umatilla Indian Reservation in eastern Oregon. She and her family then moved to Portland, Ore., to give Schimmel a better chance to advance her game and education and to allow her mother, Cecilee Moses, a chance to coach basketball there.
Moses still coaches her daughters’ high school team, the Franklin High School Quakers.
The Schimmels’ move to Lousiville is a major success story. The Oregonian reported during the Sweet 16 games that the 2009 NCAA Student-Athlete Race and Ethnicity report showed that only 19 of the 9,846 Division I college basketball players were American Indian or Alaskan Natives.
Sunchild said he wants students at Rocky Boy and other reservations to realize that succeeding is not just a dream. Schimmel is proof of that.
She led her first high school team, the Hermiston High School Bulldogs, to fourth- and second-place state finishes and was named Intermountain Conference Player of the Year her freshman and sophomore seasons.
Playing her senior year at Franklin, she averaged 29.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 5.5 steals and led the Quakers to back-to-back state quarterfinal finishes in her junior and senior years. Schimmel also received numerous honors including being ranked No. 8 in the nation by ESPN Hoop Gurlz, as well as receiving honors in other sports such as cross country and softball.
While the Lady Cards did not win an NCAA championship — the team lost to Gonzaga 76-69 — Schimmel was one of the high-profile players in her region as a freshman.
The camps will start at 8 a. m. each day at the Wellness Center.
Sunchild said he hopes many players come to the camp to work on their game and see living examples of how far they can go in life.
“They were a struggling family, and they are doing really well with academics and sports, ” he said.