Shoni Schimmel of the Atlanta Dream, surprised the WNBA sports world, by standing out most among all the All-Stars of Saturday's WNBA All-Star game. She was named MVP in what was probably the greatest game in WNBA history.
It was the first WNBA all-star game to go to overtime, but it was more than just a close game. This game saw the some of the most popular lady athletes in the world, playing for the East and West, push each other hard from the get-go through every whistle until the buzzer sounded on every quarter. Each team wanted to win badly.
In some respects, it was a who's who for women's basketball of all-time. And, the one who walked away with the trophy for Most Valuable Player was a player raised on a Reservation in the state of Oregon.
Shoni Schimmel wouldn't have been the pick to be the difference maker in this game just as Patty Mills wouldn't have been thought of as the catalyst for an NBA championship.
Patty Mills is the first Aboriginal player to play in the NBA Finals-for the San Antonio Spurs this year (the second Aboriginal player to ever play in the NBA).
Patty and Shoni are giving sports fans a different perspective for how Native American and Aboriginal athletes should be thought of.
They are breaths of fresh air among the crowded sports pantheon of athletes to follow in this modern age of technology mixed with social media.
The Washington Redskins were finally kicked off the front page for Native American sports news. They had to take a backseat to a woman. Who would have guessed that? And, the conversations are based on accomplishment and merit, not an argument for politics and new marketing of a nickname or logo.
Shoni Schimmel gives hope to thousands of young athletes on Reservations in the U.S. For one day at least, she was the best of the best in a game considered one of the most popular sports in the U.S. and the world.