May 2024

XXVII, No. 3
Muckleshoot indian reservation, wash.
May 2024

Battle of the Nations Basketball Tournament

By Nate Bisson

64 tribes from across the country competed in this year’s 5th annual Battle of the Nations basketball tournament located in Spokane, Washington. On April 4th, teams met at Spokane Casino for mandatory check-ins, followed by a grand entry ceremony and live drawing for game times. 

The grand entry started with an honoring of flags by Indigenous Veterans, followed by songs and dances as all tribes were introduced and welcomed onto the floor.

This basketball tournament is very unique in that Tribal members can only play with the tribe they are enrolled in. Tribal IDs are verified at check ins on the first day. The tournament director and creator is Spokane tribal member Jerry Ford Redbone.

On April 5th, Muckleshoot faced off against Skokomish in the first round and won by more than 20 points. Next, we battled against Blackfeet Nation and won by 20 as well.

On April 6th, we fought hard against Lapwai Nation, but came up short losing by 10. Lapwai ended up finishing 4th place in the tournament. Our final game was also on April 6th, we played a very tough Coeur d’Alene Tribal team and lost.

Out of 64 Tribal Nations, Muckleshoot finished in the top 16 teams in the country. We’re hoping to return next year and improve our ranking.


  • 1st: Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, $12,000, custom Pendleton Jackets, and a Bison skull trophy.
  • 2nd: Comanche Nation, $6000, custom Pendleton gym bags, and a Bison skull trophy.
  • 3rd: Navajo Nation, $4000  and a Bison skull trophy.
  • 4th: Nimiipuu - Lapwai Nation, $2000 and a Bison skull trophy


  • Leeroy Courville
  • Jon Hamilton
  • Kobe Courville
  • Nate Bisson
  • Devon Anderson
  • Hazen Thomas
  • Luis Esparza
  • Darius Nichols

More from This Edition

XXVII, No. 3

May 2024

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About the Muckleshoot Messenger

The Muckleshoot Messenger is a Tribal publication created by the Muckleshoot Office of Media Services. Tribal community members and Tribal employees are welcome to submit items to the newspaper such as news, calendar items, photos, poems, and artwork.