Shoni Schimmel sets foot on the court for the first time in a University of Louisville practice uniform at the KFC Yum! Center in October.
Not many Native Americans in this region. Definitely no Indian reservations. Difficult to imagine the “stigma” that these folks sense in some far western states.
After viewing the “Off The Rez” documentary on the TLC Network, we know much more about the challenges facing Shoni Schimmel and family, endearing them even more to University of Louisville fans, if that’s possible.
Can’t wait to see her team up with little sister Jude next season.
The observer was there when Schimmel first set foot on the court at the new KFC Yum! Center for her opening practice session last October, happily welcoming her to Louisville. A quick smile and a thank you from Shoni.
We were also there for her first college basketball game, against the University of Tennessee in front of 22,000+plus fans. Shoni was a little tight that night, committing eight turnovers, all of them within the first minutes, while making only three assists. Still obvious, however, that she was a gifted floor leader and ball handler, her confidence growing every time she touched the ball.
As the season progressed, she would display many other skills while starting all 35 games, scoring 528 points, averaging 15.1 points, 4.9 assists and two steals per game. An extraordinary season for a college freshman.
Far from the reservation, she is thriving in Louisville, her home away from home.