Native Village
Youth and Education news
 Volume 4  February 2011

Shoni Schimmel brings showtime to Louisville women's basketball
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Condensed by Native Village

Kentucky: Shoni Schimmel is a 5-foot-10 point guard on the University of Louisville women's basketball team. She directs her team like a veteran and makes behind-the-back passes and three-point shots from anywhere. 

Shoni's feats are so impressive, even her teammates go back to the videos to look.

“We'll be sitting in the team computer lab looking at Shoni YouTube clips, and she'll walk in,” said teammate Becky Burke. “It's a little embarrassing that we're YouTubing one of our teammates.”

Shoni is only a freshman, yet she:

Is second on the team in scoring at 15.8 points a game

Leads the Big East Conference in assists
(5.7). (Many coming via no-look passes that her teammates are just now getting used to.)

Leads the Big East in three-pointers

Shoni honed her skills on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. At age 2, she picked up her first basketball and never put it down.  She says the nightly basketball games on the reservation were “as competitive as you can imagine.”

“There's so many Native Americans that coulda-shoulda-woulda but didn't do anything,” she said. “It's almost sickening how much talent is (there).

Shoni hopes to become one of the few Native Americans to make it in college basketball. Last year, only 28 Division I basketball players were American Indian or Alaskan Natives.  15 of those were women.

“I am very proud of who I am and where I came from, but I wanted to be one of the ones that made it out. My job is to play basketball, and I love doing it.”

Shoni has plenty of supporters.

“People call us all the time and say they're watching her, and that's neat,” said her mother, Ceci Moses. “Everybody knows everybody (on the reservation), and they're watching Shoni. They said they call her the Umatilla Thriller.”

Shoni's story on ESPN:

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