Umatilla basketball player Shoni Schimmel was a star on the rise when she got a big boost from a documentary called Off the Rez. By the end of her brilliant career at Louisville, Shoni was a hero in Indian country. Natives everywhere, of all tribes, were glued to their TV sets as Shoni, her sister Jude, and the rest of the Lousville Cardinals team made a valiant run at the 2013 NCAA Basketball championship (the team lost in the final game to Connecticut).
Off the Rez was the Shoni Schimmel movie — but you may not have heard of On the Rez, the Sherry Schimmel movie. You might not even have heard of Sherry Schimmel. Well, you're about to, thanks to comedian Tito Ybarra…
On the Rez became Tito's most popular YouTube clip. It was so popular, in fact, that Shoni gave Sherry a shout-out in a post-game interview! (Or did she…?)
Tito did catch a little heat for On the Rez — some viewers felt his mockumentary was making a, well, mockery of the inspiring story of one of Indian country's most popular role models. And that's too bad, because we're pretty sure the truth is that Tito is actually a huge Schimmel fan. Perhaps this totally sincere rendition of the "Louisville Cardinals Fight Song — Native Style!" would make that clear. Well, it might not be totally sincere. Actually, it's kind of funny too.
Ok Tito — you get one more chance. One more video to tell the world how you really feel about Shoni Schimmel. Here he is wishing her a happy birthday in song, and confessing that he really wants to be her– oh, but that would be giving it away. You have to watch to find out what Tito wants to be.