NBA Star Kevin Durant and Nike Team Up to Support Heritage Month

Source: Indian Country Today Media Network

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant is taking ankle support to a whole new level.

The NBA forward has teamed up for a third time with Nike’s N7 Fund to create the bold N7 KD VI signature shoe. Durant is expected to debut the shoe, which was inspired from Native American symbols, on Wednesday during the Thunder’s home game against the Dallas Mavericks.

“Playing in Oklahoma City has connected me to the mission of Nike N7 and the meaningful impact that it has with Native Americans here and across North America,” Durant said in a Nike press release earlier this year. “I believe in the power of sport to change lives, and I support helping youth in Native American communities experience the positive benefits of being physically active.”

The unveiling comes at the beginning of November, the month designated as Native American Heritage Month. And to celebrate Native American heritage, Nike’s N7 Fund is bringing together 100 youth from local tribal communities in Oklahoma City for an afternoon basketball skills clinic on Thursday, November 7th.

The bright colors used on the KD VI have significant meaning in Native culture. Turquoise is a color symbolic of friendship, and the red accents on the shoe is one of one of four colors—yellow, red, black and white—featured on the traditional Native America medicine wheel, representing movement and the four directions.

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The KD VI also features the repeating pattern of arrows that first launched on the Pendleton Woolen Mills Nike N7 blanket last month. The arrow print symbolizes energy and forward motion and has reflective built in for a surprise effect when worn in the elements.

Nike’s N7 mission is to inspire and enable two million Native American and aboriginal youth in North American to participate in physical activities. Nike’s N7 collection launched in 2009 and since then, more than $2 million has been raised for Native American and aboriginal youth sport programs.



Feeling our pain: Seattle named most miserable sports city in America

Forbes Magazine has named Seattle America's most miserable sports city for our lack of titles and loss of the Sonics. (AP image)

Forbes Magazine has named Seattle America’s most miserable sports city for our lack of titles and loss of the Sonics. (AP image)

BY JOSH KERNS  on July 31, 2013


Whether it’s a decade of futility from the Mariners, the failed efforts to bring the NBA back to town or last season’s heart-breaking, season-ending Seahawks playoff loss in the final minutes to Atlanta, Seattle sports fans know misery. And now Forbes is making sure the rest of the country feels our pain, naming Seattle the most miserable sports city in America.

The annual ranking isn’t solely about absolute futility, Forbes says. Coming up short in the playoffs can cause even greater agony, like the Seahawks’ 2005 Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh.

Writer Tom Van Riper came up with the list based on a misery index, giving the most misery points for the worst records in pro-sports championship round play. That includes the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and NHL Finals. Teams then get fewer points for futility in preceding playoff rounds. All told, only major U.S. sports towns with at least 75 cumulative NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL seasons are eligible.

Close, but no cigar isn’t the only criteria. Van Riper also gives points for championship droughts, adding points based on how long it’s been since the last title (Seattle’s last was the Sonics in 1979, as the WNBA isn’t counted in his rankings.)

The index also gives bonus points for cities that lost a team to relocation. We certainly know how painful that is with the Sonics move to Oklahoma City.

The new rankings could spark plenty of arguments from fans in other cities who’ve certainly suffered more than their fair share. Atlanta comes in just behind Seattle, thanks to a regular pattern of playoff disappointment from the Braves, the Falcons frequent playoff losses and the city losing its NHL franchise twice.

Fans in Phoenix have experienced plenty of playoff pain with the NBA Suns making it to nine western conference finals and two NBA Finals without a title. In Buffalo, the faithful have suffered four Super Bowl losses by the Bills while the NHL Sabres have yet to win the Stanley Cup despite making the playoffs 29 times since 1973.

As they say, misery loves company. So I guess we can take some comfort knowing we’re not alone. And with Super Bowl hopes so high for the Seahawks, maybe we’ll get off the list by this time next year. Or at the very least, we can solidify our spot atop the index. We certainly spend plenty of time there. Seattle was most miserable in 2011, slipping to number two a year ago before reclaiming the top spot.

Forbes most miserable sports cities:

1. Seattle

2. Atlanta

3. Phoenix

4. Buffalo

5. San Diego

6. Cleveland

7. Kansas City

8. Houston

9. Washington, DC

10. Denver

Retired NBA Coach Phil Jackson Sponsors Campaign for One Lucky Donor to Spend Day with Him

8333 Greenwood Blvd. Denver, CO 80221
Toll Free: 800.776.3863     Phone: 303.426.8900

January 22, 2013

Retired NBA coach Phil Jackson will give one lucky fan and a friend the opportunity to spend a day with him in Los Angeles learning his basketball coaching secrets.

Jackson has teamed up with online fundraising company Omaze for a fundraising campaign to support the American Indian College Fund (the Fund) to raise money for Native student scholarships.

Donors can complete entries here for a chance to meet Mr. Jackson. The campaign is currently slated to end on Feb. 8. Airfare and hotel are included in the trip. Donations are not required to enter for a chance to meet Mr. Jackson.

As part of the experience, Mr. Jackson, a longtime supporter of the Fund who has also conducted basketball clinics in Indian Country, will show game tape of past championship series and explain how he prepared champion players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Mr. Jackson will also detail how he developed his well-known Triangle Offense and other strategies that helped him coach his teams to win 11 NBA championships, the most in basketball history. Mr. Jackson retired from coaching in 2011.

“The American Indian College is delighted that Mr. Jackson has donated his time and energies to illustrate the need for financial support for American Indian college students,” said Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund. “Not only is Mr. Jackson helping to raise money for scholarships, but he is also providing Native students with the valuable knowledge that he believes that with an education, they are all winners.”