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Native American/ Indigenous People Heritage: Sports & Athletes

Lewis Tewanima

Lewis Tewanima participated in the Olympics twice, and won a silver metal in 1912. He was a Hopi Indian in Arizona, and went to the Carlisle Indian School.

Louis Sockalexis

Louis Sockalexis was a baseball player, and was given the nickname "The Deerfoot of the Diamond" early in his career. He played in the National League for three seasons. Sockalexis grew up on the Penobscot Reservation in Maine.

Jude Schimmel

Jude Schimmel is a member of the WNBA just like her sister, and grew up on the reservation as well.



Lacrosse began as an activity called stickball. This was seen as a major event in the Native American culture, and many games took place over several days. At times, there was a reported 1,000 players at one time. The original balls were wooden, and were eventually replaced by deerskin balls with fur. Lacrosse was mainly played as a means of toughing up young male warriors, but was also used as a recreational activity.  

Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe was an Olympic gold medalist. He was a member of the Sac and Fox nation of Oklahoma, and became the first Native American to win a gold metal.

Shoni Schimmel

Shoni Schimmel is a professional basketball player for the WNBA. She grew up on the Umitilla Indian Reservation in Oregon.

Sonny Sixkiller

Sonny Sixkiller (born Alex) was a football player and sports commentator. Sixkiller was part of the Cherokee nation, and grew up in Oklahoma.

Moses J. Yellowhorse

Moses J. Yellowhorse, nicknamed Chief, was a baseball player.He played two seasons as a pitcher in the MLB. Yellowhorse was part of the Pawnee Nation, and grew up in Pawnee, Oklahoma.

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