Dec. 1, 2018 will mark the 6th Annual American Indian Recognition Day basketball game sponsored by MCC's American Indian Institute and MCC Thunderbird Athletics, MCC Student Life, and ASMCC (Associated Students of Mesa Community College). This game originally was conceived from an idea by Sam Stevens (Navajo), long time women's basketball assistant coach and program advisor in MCC's American Indian Institute, to highlight the college's commitment to Native American recruitment and education through sport during Indigenous Nations Month, which occurs in November.
MCC women's basketball has historically recruited Native American student-athletes into their program, along with the other 16 athletic programs across campus. This recognition game began in 2013 and has recognized & honored several prominent campus groups, including MCC's Native American student-athletes, Native American employees on campus, Native American women, and Native American royalty from throughout Arizona and the Southwest, including Miss Native MCC.
This season (2018-19), MCC women's basketball program has five players representing several tribal nations across the country. They are:
Cheyenne Begay (Navajo) – Sophomore
Lynnae Mitchell (Navajo) – Sophomore
Jacey Salabiye (Navajo) – Freshman
Iris Domebo (Coeur D Alene/Kiowa/Nez Perce) – Freshman
Madison Chesarek (Crow Nation/Three Affiliated Tribes) – Sophomore
Because of this, the American Indian Institute at MCC decided to reach out to Nike's N7 division and see if they would be willing to provide the turquoise N7 uniforms for this year's American Indian Recognition Day game, something N7 has done with several 4-year universities who participate in American Indian heritage games.
N7 is a Nike project aimed at inspiring and enabling Native American and Aboriginal youth in North America to participate in sports and get active while being mindful of at least seven generations beyond. There is a community involvement aspect that also goes along with a line of athletic wear, including shorts, shoes, shirts, hoodies, and several other items. The N7 uniforms will be prominently turquoise with red, representing harmony, fellowship, and friendship. More information about Nike N7 can be found here: http://n7fund.com/
Major 4-year athletic programs who have worn the N7 jersey in previous seasons include Stanford, Oklahoma State, Haskell, Oral Roberts, New Mexico, Gonzaga, Nevada, Florida State, Oregon State, San Diego State, and Marquette. According to N7, Mesa Community College will be the first 2-year college to wear such a jersey representing Nike N7 and supporting their Indigenous Nations Month activities in this manner.
Both men's and women's teams at MCC will unveil new Nike N7 jerseys on Dec. 1, 2018 in their conference home opener vs the Phoenix College Bears. There will be a display in the newly remodeled trophy case located in the lobby of the Theo Heap Gym showcasing the jersey and more information about Nike N7. Tip off for the women's game will be at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm for the men. The game will also be streamed at the following link: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/mcc/