Tahnee Robinson, senior guard on the University of Nevada women’s basketball team, was the 31st overall pick in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) draft on April 11. Selected in the third-round by the Phoenix Mercury, Robinson was traded to the Connecticut Sun, owned by the Mohegan Tribe, for a third-round pick next year.
Native to the Wind River Indian Reservation in Fort Washakie, Wyoming (her mother is Pawnee and Eastern Shoshone, and her father is Northern Cheyenne and Sioux), Robinson signed a two-year contract with Nike, which launched its N7 campaign targeted at American Indians in 2007.
“They’re definitely going to use me to reach out as much as possible, being the first Native American drafted and the first from Nevada,” Robinson said Tuesday, reported Dan Hinxman for RGJ.com. “… without Nike, there’s no way my story can be heard. I hope to promote N7 more and reach out to as many people as possible.”
Robinson will head to Oregon later this week to meet with the athletic apparel giant, reported Fremont Broadcasting.
N7, “inspired by Native American wisdom of Seven Generations,” according to the N7 Facebook page, is Nike’s “commitment to bring sport and all of its benefits to Native American and Aboriginal communities in the USA and Canada.”
Through purchases of N7 products, Nike supports the N7 Fund, which provides Native and Aboriginal communities with grants to fund sports and physical fitness programs.
Numerous partnerships and events with N7 lead to Robinson’s sponsorship. For the University of Nevada’s annual Native American Pride Day on February 26, its basketball team partnered with Nike N7 when it hosted New Mexico State. Nevada laced up shoes and donned warm-up shirts from the Nike N7 collection for the game, and dance teams from local-area reservations performed traditional dances before the game and during halftime.