The Schimmel sisters have some of the best fans in sports. On Monday night, thousands of fans drove from hundreds of miles away, and through snow storms to watch Shoni Schimmel play her last regular home game of the season at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville on Native American Appreciation night. ICTMN reported that tribes from more than 40 states were on hand to watch Schimmel and cheer for her (and her sister Jude) despite the team’s loss to UConn, 68-48. Shoni told ICTMN that it was “really cool” to have so much support.
Donna Kipp, a fan from New Mexico who attended Monday’s game told WAVE news that when she was Shoni's age just getting off the reservation was a dream and that Shoni's success is a great accomplishment. Olivia Denson’s (Mississippi Choctaw) six daughters really look up to the Schimmels and came to the game just to see them play. She told WAVE that there was no way she was missing the game, "Last home game Senior night pow wow," she said, "I said I'm taking my girls."
One part of Native American Appreciation night that was not covered is best addressed in an article by Charlie Perry, a web editor for Haskell University’s The Indian Leader.
“During intermission many spectators skipped the bathroom breaks and popcorn runs to witness the Native American Red Road Drum Group and Dancers as they made their grand entry. The audience sat spellbound as dozens of Natives from across the country dressed in full regalia gave a personal glimpse into a rich Native American heritage of dance. Many diverse forms of dance were represented in the show including fancy, jingle, hoop, and shawl which captivated a predominately non-Native audience as they listened to the thundering songs coming from the drum. For the second time this evening over 20,000 people rose out of their seats and applauded Native American culture.”
Click here to read Perry’s full story.