Shoni Schimmel Leads Team with 21 Points in Victory; Jude Schimmel Out with Ankle Injury

Levi Rickert, Native News Network

Shoni Schimmel

Shoni Schimmel

LOUISVILLE — Louisville Cardinals Shoni Schimmel scored 21 points on Saturday to lead her team in a 64-45 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.

Saturday’s game was the third in which Schimmel has scored more than 20 points in a game. Her season-high was 30 points against Colorado two weeks ago.

The 5’9” senior guard had five three-pointers as part of her 21 points.

Jude Schimmel out with injured ankle.

Jude Schimmel out with injured ankle.


Her sister, Jude, a junior guard did not play Saturday due to an ankle injury she sustained during practice on Friday nig

“Jude sprained her last night as she was shooting extra shots in the gym. She put a shot up and got the rebound and came down on her ankle. We had some x-rays done and we are waiting to get the results completely read. They looked at the x-rays here and didn’t see anything, but we will send those off to a specialist,” said Louisville Coach Jeff Walz.

The two sisters are tribal citizens of the Confederated Tribe of Umatilla Indians.

With the win over Cincinnati the Cardinals have won eight straight games, the longest winning streak since the beginning of the 2012-13 season when Louisville won eight to open the season.

The No.7 Cardinals improve to 15-1 this season with a victory over Cincinnati, which ties the record for the best start in the first 16 games of a season. Louisville was 15-1 during both the 2006-07 and 2008-09 seasons.

The next Cardinals game is next Saturday, January 12, 2014 against USF in Tampa, Florida at 3:00 p.m. – EST. It will be televised nationally on ESPNU.


The five faces of Shoni Schimmel


espnw_e_schimmel_01b_576x878November 7, 2013

By Kate Fagan |

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We asked Louisville senior guard Shoni Schimmel to spend an afternoon with us in front of the camera. Usually on a day off from practice, Schimmel will catch up on TV shows — right now, she’s into “Revenge” — by streaming them on Netflix. But today, she packed a bag filled with the clothes and accessories she loves, then showed off her style, on and off the court.

Photos by Robby Klein for espnW

1. Not as easy as it looks

When Schimmel is asked to recreate the ridiculous playground shot she made against Baylor center Brittney Griner in the Sweet 16 of last season’s NCAA tournament, she needs some direction. “Was it with my left hand? How was my body positioned?” She twists and extends the ball in her right palm, underhand, then asks, “Was it like this?”

Wait, what? Hasn’t she watched the YouTube video of that moment dozens of times? It is easily one of the most spectacular moves — behind-the-back dribble, turn in the air, overhead flip off the glass — in NCAA women’s tourney history, especially given the tension of the moment and the game’s David-versus-Goliath narrative. As if the shot itself wasn’t enough, the 5-foot-9 Schimmel popped off the floor after drawing the foul and went toe-to-toe with the 6-8 Griner, letting out a fierce whoop and providing the perfect image to go along with the underdog theme.

“I think I’ve seen it once,” Schimmel says of the clip. “That whole moment was a misunderstanding. It’s not like me to get in someone’s face. After making the move, I was on the ground and I couldn’t see Brittney, so I thought she stepped on me on purpose. It was obviously by accident; I just didn’t know it at the time.”

No one thought Louisville, a No. 5 seed, would oust top-seeded Baylor — no one except Schimmel and her teammates, that is. She made a bet with her parents before the game that if the Cardinals won, the two of them would officially get married. Everyone on the Umatilla reservation where Schimmel grew up, in eastern Oregon, already considered Rick Schimmel and Ceci Moses married, because they had been together for 25 years and have eight children. But the couple had never made it legally binding — they just didn’t feel the need for outside validation — until they walked into an Oklahoma City courthouse after Louisville’s shocking upset in the regional semifinals.

2. Rez ball style

Some players think “flashy” is a negative term, but Schimmel is fine with it. That’s the style of ball she grew up playing on the reservation — “rez ball,” as it is commonly known. She tosses a ball into the air and catches it on the tip of her index finger, watching it spin. “When I was a kid, I was hooked on the AND1 mixtapes,” she says, referring to the popular streetball DVDs that emphasize jaw-dropping moves over drawn-up plays.

Schimmel hadn’t played much structured basketball before arriving at Louisville. She chose the school over Oregon, UCLA, Rutgers and South Carolina because she wanted to experience a different part of the country while playing for a coach who was willing to adapt her free-flowing style to the college game.

Cardinals coach Jeff Walz lets Schimmel do her thing — no-look passes, behind-the-back dishes, full-court baseball tosses — within the structure of his offense, taking advantage of her ability to improvise but also pulling on the reins when Schimmel crosses over from creative to careless.

3. See the 3, be the 3

Schimmel has some swagger. There is something in her walk, her movements, that reflects confidence, especially when she possesses the ball. Toss her the rock and Schimmel light ups, displaying all the tricks in her arsenal.

Come to think of it, the Cardinals as a team have some of this same bounce to their step, a self-assurance that made them fun to watch on their run to the national championship game last spring. Occasionally, after making a 3-pointer, Schimmel will raise her arms or lift her hand to her eye, like she’s putting on a pair of glasses. (Notice the three fingers extended.) On the opening possession of the NCAA title game against Connecticut, Louisville forward Sara Hammond made a 3 then ran back down court making the same gesture as Schimmel in the above photo.

In the end, Louisville had no answer for UConn’s talent and depth. But more will be expected of the Cardinals after their epic postseason run made up for a mediocre regular season. (Louisville is ranked No. 5 in the preseason polls.) “I think we’re better this year,” says Schimmel, one of four returning starters. “We’re more of a veteran team.”

4. Shades of Shoni (and MJ)

When she walks around the Louisville campus, Schimmel is usually wearing her black Ray-Bans. She is much more low-key away from the court and thinks the sunglasses give her an extra layer of protection. Of course, she’s not really fooling anyone.

Her nickname — “Shades” — is perfect for her on-court persona. She is cool under pressure, much like her all-time favorite player, Michael Jordan. But ask Schimmel why she loves MJ so much and she is suddenly thrown for a loss. She shrugs her shoulders, with a confused look on her face, as if someone wants her to explain why she needs oxygen.

5. Finding her voice

Schimmel is just starting to realize how much weight her voice carries within the Native American community. Over the summer, she and her sister Jude, who also plays for Louisville, and their parents visited the Black Hills of South Dakota to speak with the residents there. When Louisville plays, even on the road, members of the Native American community wait for Shoni and Jude after the game. These fans want their kids to see the opportunities that exist beyond the reservation, beyond the scourge of drugs and alcohol and school truancy that stunts too many young lives.

And Shoni wants to show them how good life can be — if you keep your eyes up. “There’s so much more,” she says. “I want them to know that.”

In the past, Schimmel was reluctant to speak publicly about topics close to her heart, for fear she might turn people off. Now, she is gradually owning and accepting the megaphone that sports has given her. She is one of the most prominent athletes of Native American heritage, one who finds herself at the nexus of a hot-button issue: Should the NFL’s Washington Redskins change their nickname?

Two years ago, maybe even last year, Schimmel would have deflected the question. Not anymore.

“I would change the name of the Redskins mainly for the Native American people as a whole,” Schimmel says. “It’s about respect for the Native American race, especially to not promote the racism carried over from the past. It was racist to be called a ‘redskin’ back in the day, so what makes it OK today? There isn’t a team called ‘whiteskins’ or ‘blackskins’ — how would that go over with the world?

“Just because what our people went through was hundreds of years ago doesn’t mean we forgot what happened, forgot what our elders went through. Changing the name would help give us, as Native Americans, the same equality that every other race wants.”

Shoni Schimmel Named To Preseason Wade Watch List



Source: The Cardinal Connect

Shoni Schimmel, a 5-foot-9, senior guard for the Louisville women’s basketball program is one of 25 players that have been named to the 2013-14 preseason `Wade Watch’ list of candidates for the prestigious award.

The Mission, OR., native is coming off a sensational junior season where she averaged  14.2 points and 3.6 assists per game. She was named the Oklahoma City Regional Most Outstanding Player for her stellar performances in Louisville’s NCAA tournament run.

Schimmel won a gold medal over the summer with the United States team in the World University Games.

The preseason list is composed of top NCAA Division I women’s basketball players who best embody Wade’s spirit from 18 different institutions and seven conferences. A committee of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States compiled the list using the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team, and overall playing ability.

The Lady Cards will start their 2013-14 season on Saturday Nov. 9 at the KFC Yum! Center against Loyola Chicago.

Schimmel Showtime at Tulalip



Shoni and Jude made a stop in Tulalip for some ball time with their fans.


Ron Iukes, Tulalip’s Youth Services Specialist, preps the kids for the Schimmel’s arrival.
Photo by Monica Brown

By Monica Brown, Tulalip News writer


TULALIP, Wa- Sisters, Shoni and Jude Shimmel, who are known for bringing “rez ball” to college basketball courts, are touring Indian country this summer before they head back to the University of Louisville for fall quarter.  During their tour the duo planned a visit to Tulalip Reservation’s, Don Hatch Gym. Shoni and Jude came to meet their fans and motivate the Tulalip kids into dedicating more passion when playing basketball, or any sport in general.


Kids and fans alike packed the gym on Saturday August 17th to meet the famous Shimmel sisters and practice with them. Fans donned their Native pride shirts, with backs that read, “Shimmel Showtime”. A reference that recalls the memory of the “Shimmel Show”, a nationally televised game from this past year in which Louisville Cardinals beat the Tennessee Lady Vols 86 to 78, and the Schimmel sisters scored a combined 39 points throughout the game which was dubbed “Shimmel Show” by ESPN.


Schimmel Showtime event gave Tulalip youngsters to meet and learn from sisters Jude and Shoni, mom Ceci on far right.

Schimmel Showtime event gave Tulalip youngsters to meet and learn from sisters Jude and Shoni, mom Ceci on far right.

The Shimmel sisters have been named the “Umatilla Thrilla” because they come from the Umatilla Reservation in Pendleton, Oregon and demonstrate the “rez ball” technique in their play. Rez ball, not something you would normally see in use on professional courts, is a playing style where the players are more aggressive, they move at a fast, consistent tempo to complete quick scoring and maintain an assertive defense.

Shoni and her father Rick directed kids as they ran lines during the practice portion of the event.

Shoni and her father Rick directed kids as they ran lines during the practice portion of the event.
Photo by Monica Brown


Photo by Monica Brown

Kids were given tips from Shoni about how to improve their form as they practiced making baskets.

Kids were given tips from Shoni about how to improve their form as they practiced making baskets.
Photo by Monica Brown


Schimmel Sisters to Attend ESPN’s ESPYs Award Show July 17th

Brent Cahwee,

LOS ANGELES – Shoni Schimmel and younger sister Jude will be in attendance for the 2013 ESPN’s ESPYs Award show slated later this month on July 17th in Los Angeles, California.

Jude and Shoni Schimmel

Jude and Shoni Schimmel during the Sweet 16 round of the women’s NCAA basketball tournament. – photo by Rhonda LeValdo


The annual award show highlights many of the past year’s defining sports moments in which fan voting determines the award winners in each category. The University of Louisville Cardinal’s women’s basketball team is up for the “Best Upset” of the year award for the game in which they defeated, then number one and defending national champions Baylor Bears, in the Sweet 16 round of the women’s NCAA tournament. The game was highlighted by an acrobatic layup by Shoni in which she took on player of the year Brittney Griner in what became an ESPN top 10 highlight for the tournament.

Competing for the same award category will be Florida Gulf Coast University’s upset win over the Georgetown Hoya’s in the men’s NCAA tournament, Texas A&M over Alabama from college football, and the Pacquiao vs Marquez “Champion of the decade” fight in which Marquez was the victor.

Although the Lady Cardinal team was selected for this award, not all of the Cardinal squad will be an attendance. Current head coach Jeff Walz will attend along with Shoni & Jude, Sara Hammond, Bria Smith and Antonita Slaughter.

“It’s exciting to know that Shoni and Jude were able to play in a game of this status. I think it will be an upset that people reflect on for many years not only in Women’s basketball, but also in the sports world in general,”

said Rick Schimmel, the father of the Schimmel sisters.

“Louisville beating Baylor was as big an upset as anyone could ever imagine. It was a thrilling game to watch and it’s exciting to know that they are being nominated for an ESPY for their victory over the Player of the Year and the defending National Champion.”

This year’s host for the ESPY’s will be Jon Hamm who will be accompanied by the usual all-star lineup of top athletes and entertainers.

Voting for the ESPY’s will continue all the way up until the start of the award show and end at 9:00 pm eastern time. Anyone wishing to place a vote for the Schimmels and the Louisville Cardinals for the “Best Upset” of the year award can do so by visiting the ESPY’s voting website at »

Unselfish Leader, Shoni Schimmel Creates Path to Stardom

John Holt, Indian Country Today Media Network

Shoni Schimmel still smiles whenever someone approaches her with a compliment about the run that she and her Louisville teammates experienced during the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

The magical journey, which began with a 74-49 first-round win over Middle Tennessee on March 24, ended 16 days later in the national championship game with an upsetting loss to Connecticut.

Although Schimmel and Louisville didn’t ultimately win the crown, she is still proud of what was accomplished during the Cardinals’ historic 2012-13 season.

“As a team, we came together and really understood what basketball was about, and that’s what got us to the Final Four and to that national championship game,” Schimmel said. “We believed in ourselves and believed in one another and had each other’s back.”

Nearly three months since that NCAA title game defeat, the rising senior guard today is back in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for USA Women’s World University Games Team training camp.

Shoni returns to Louisville for her senior season this fall.
Shoni returns to Louisville for her senior season this fall.


“It’s been great, just being able to get back and get back in the flow of things with everybody and get everything going,” Schimmel said. “Last night we played our first scrimmage together. It was pretty fun, but at the same time we weren’t all together yet.”

During the five weeks in between the conclusion of trials and the start of training camp, Schimmel was back at Louisville enrolled in two summer school sessions.

“I took an American Sign Language class,” she said. “It was actually a lot of fun.”

On the hardwood, from Schimmel’s point of view, dishing out an assist is more rewarding than scoring two points. Her favorite part of the game is distributing and she’s always had an unselfish mentality that is built around getting her teammates involved before herself.

“It’s easier for me to sit there and pass the ball and watch someone make an easy shot,” she noted. “I like to make that spectacular pass.”

Growing up in Mission, Oregon, Schimmel first picked up a basketball at the age of four. All seven of her siblings play the sport, and whenever she returns home, the entire family engages in pick-up games, even her four-year old little brother.

“I’m the competitive one out of all of them,” Schimmel said of the family basketball battles. “I’ll be getting mad and yelling at them and stuff like that just because I’m so competitive. My dad knows how to push my buttons a little bit, so me and him bump heads a little bit. But it’s always fun, and very competitive.”

Following her freshman season at Louisville, Schimmel’s sister, Jude, joined the Cardinal program. Originally, the plan was never for she and her sister to attend the same school, but Schimmel admitted as the pair grew older, the idea of playing together in college became more intriguing. She states that when she and Jude were kids, they watched the Disney Channel original film titled Double Teamed, which was based on the life stories of professional basketball players Heather and Heidi Burge, who are twins. The movie inspired Shoni and Jude that someday they could have the same level of success as the Heather and Heidi.

“We were like, ‘oh that’s us to a tee because they both played together, and then, they went off into the WNBA and played against each other,”’ Schimmel recalled.

The Cardinals' sensational sister act: Jude, left, and Shoni Schimmel (courtesy Schimmel family)
The Cardinals’ sensational sister act: Jude, left, and Shoni Schimmel (courtesy Schimmel family)

These days, the sisters communicate all the time and even live together at school. At the same time, however, they rarely are allowed to room with each other during team road trips.

“She knows my every move when it comes to basketball,” Schimmel said of Jude. “Off the court we’re just as close.”

The best moment of Schimmel’s time at Louisville occurred during this season’s memorable NCAA Tournament run. In the regional semifinal, she and her Louisville teammates faced defending national champion Baylor. Heading into the game, analysts didn’t believe the Cardinals stood a chance. And honestly, could anyone blame them? Louisville had put together an impressive regular season, but Baylor appeared unstoppable. They entered the tournament as the top overall seed, featured the reigning National Player of the Year in Brittney Griner and were winners of 74 of their last 75 contests.

Yet despite what outsiders were saying and predicting, Louisville wouldn’t be fazed. The Cardinals led by 10 points at the intermission and extended their lead to 17 with 7 ½ minutes to play, before holding on for an 82-81 upset win for the ages. Schimmel, the Oklahoma City Regional Most Outstanding Player, led the way with 22 points, connecting on 5-of-8 3-pointers and also contributing a trio of steals.

“You still get that excitement,” Schimmel said looking back on the biggest win in Louisville women’s basketball history. “You still think about it, and it’s still there. I’ve only watched (the game) once. It was pretty crazy though.

“It was exciting. I was grinning the whole time watching it.”

Watch Louisville upset Baylor

On July 1, the USA World University Games Team departed for competition in Kazan, Russia. Having won gold at the World University Games the last four times USA Basketball sent an entry, Schimmel believes the USA has what it takes to keep its streak alive.

“It’s not really much pressure,” she said. “It’s more you want to go out there and keep doing it.”

When the team returns home on July 16, there won’t be any relaxation time for Schimmel. Instead, she’ll be boarding another flight. This time: to Los Angeles where she will meet her Louisville teammates at the 2013 ESPYS (the Cardinals’ win over Baylor has been nominated in the award ceremony’s Best Upset category).

“It’s a pretty hectic summer,” Schimmel said, “but at the same time, it’s very exciting and very thrilling.”

While the recent months have seen Schimmel evolve into someone with whom everyone surrounding women’s college basketball is now familiar, her No. 1 focus remains true.

“It’s awesome to be able to sit there and someone to say, ‘Hey you’re Shoni Schimmel or something like that,’” Schimmel acknowledged. “It’s cool. But at the same time, I’m just out there to play basketball.”

With one more collegiate season to go, expect Schimmel to continue progressing as well as to develop plenty more moments for her supporters to smile about. And if she’s fortunate enough to come home with a gold medal, anticipate the smiles to be bigger than ever before.

This story was first published on June 28 by USA Basketball and is reprinted here with permission of USA Basketball. To read the original story and to learn more about USA Basketball and the World University Games, click here.

Related: Shoni Schimmel Joins Team USA to Take on the World



Shoni and Jude Schimmel “It’s Time to Dance”

Published in Indian Gaming Magazine
By Steve Cadue May 2013

For two hours in early April, the largest draw at the Wildhorse Resort and Casino in northeastern Oregon wasn’t at a poker table but on a ballroom’s big screen. The casino, operated by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, sponsored a viewing party to watch two of the tribes own compete in the NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship.

Playing for the University of Louisville, sisters Shoni and Jude Schimmel have become heroes to Native Americans and that native pride is resonating throughout not only their 2,800-member tribe but throughout Indian Country. Louisville’s remarkable run ended with a 93-60 heartbreaking loss to the University of Connecticut, but the sisters’ feat and their continued play will serve as an inspiration for generations in Indian Country.

“We are extremely proud of Shoni and Jude Schimmel and deeply appreciative of the recognition they have brought to our people,” said LesMinthorn, the Tribe’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

The sisters’ love of the game is evident when their playing in a national championship game or in a pick up game at home which can include anyone from their four-year-old brother to their mother and father. “On any given day, I think we’re just ready to play ball,” said Shoni, a 5’9” junior guard. “That’s our competitive nature in us. We just want to go out there and win. We just want to have fun and compete.”

Basketball runs in the Schimmel family’s blood. The sisters’ father, Rick, played for one year at Stanford University and their mother, Ceci, a high school basketball coach played ball for Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon. The sisters began playing ball at around four years old in a co-ed basketball tournament for four-to-six year old players. Pushed in particular by their older brother, Shae, the sisters continued to improve their game and were later the subject of a documentary, “Off the Rez” that featured the Schimmel family leaving the reservation in pursuit of more opportunities for the family.

During her highly successful high school basketball career, Shoni opted to wait until after her senior year to choose a college. Unlike most highly sought after recruits, Shoni said she made the decision to wait because she wanted to enjoy being in high school. “I decided to go to the University of Louisville because – through the recruiting process – Coach (Jeff)Walz and staff stayed with me through the whole thing,” said Shoni describing the respect shown to her by Louisville. “They stayed with me and kept interest and didn’t give up on me.”

When Jude was ready to choose a college, she decided to follow her sister. “It’s really rare to get to play a Division I sport with your sister and I wanted to share the experience with her,” said Jude, a 5’6” sophomore guard.

In August 2011, the Louisville women’s basketball team visited the Umatilla Reservation on their way to Canada to play in a tournament. During the three-day visit, the team held a basketball clinic for youth and visited with tribal leaders. The team also visited the tribe’s Tamastslikt Cultural Institute for a tour of the museum and to learn tribal history and legends.

“Everyone wanted to see what the reservation was all about,” said Shoni noting that some teammates thought tribal members still lived in teepees. The trip was unifying for the team and for the sisters. “It was weird to have our immediate family and our basketball team family there,” Shoni said. “But it all came together. It was the best of both worlds.”

For both, the most remarkable moment in this year’s NCAA tournament run was the 82-81 defeat of the defending national champions Baylor Bears. Going in a 24-point underdog in a Sweet 16 match up, the charge was uphill for the fifth-seeded Louisville team. Late in the game, Shoni ran a fast break and defending the basket was 6’8” Britney Griner. Shoni drove the key, dribbled left and with her back to Griner and the hoop – she popped a shot off the glass for two. The shot exemplifies the next level game. Griner didn’t know what happened and she would have to review the film to see what would be the most exciting play of the tournament.

“We worked as a team and it was a once-in-a-lifetime moment,” Shoni said. “It was very special to all of us and it was amazing to feel like that.” Jude echoed her sister’s sentiments. “It was an incredible feeling and one of the biggest upsets in history,” Jude said.

The sisters’ credit their family for their success and for their strong connection to their tribe. As children, they dressed in traditional regalia handcrafted by their great grandmother and performed the Lord’s Prayer in sign language at local churches. The sisters’ younger family members continue to wear

the regalia as part of their family traditions. The sisters also credit much of their tribal knowledge to their grandmothers and father.

The pair used to dance when they were younger at tribal events such as the tribes’ Fourth of July powwow held at the Wildhorse Resort and Casino. However, the sisters’ college courses and basketball schedule may keep them from attending this year’s powwow.

Both do plan to one day possibly work for their tribe. First, each would like to be in the WNBA or play professionally overseas. However, Shoni, a communications major, and Jude, a sociology major, would like to eventually use their degrees to help Native people on the reservation.

“We both want to give back,” said Jude of returning to the reservation. Shoni also is considering the possibility of opening a restaurant that features traditional Native foods. “I want to make it known that we have our own foods too,” Shoni said. Holding on to their Native heritage is important for both. Jude said she is inspired to succeed by the Native Americans who helped pave the road for the sisters.

The Schimmel sisters will continue to do some paving of their own when the Louisville Cardinals return next year. And because of the Schimmel’s inspiring dedication, a watershed of Native American talented student athletes will begin to flow.

We thank the Creator.


Steve Cadue is Tribal Chairman of the Kickapoo Nation. He can be reached by email at