Ivy Bridge College Sponsors the 9th Annual Madness in March All Native American High School Basketball Tournament

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Countless number of Native American families, friends, and avid basketball fans will gather in Durant, Oklahoma to witness a showcase of hardwood skill and aerial talent of over 600 Native American student athletes.

Our main goal has always been for our kids to know the importance of a college education. Receiving a degree and going back to your respected community and making a difference in the life of someone else is the success.

March 22–25 marks the 9th Annual Madness in March all Native American High School Basketball Tournament held by the non-profit organization 4 Love of the Game and sponsored by Ivy Bridge College. Highlighting this year’s event is Native American dunk champion Kenny Dobbs’ Thursday dunk clinic and NBA legend Darryl Dawkins and former NFL linebacker Kenyatta Wright who will be meeting with fans, signing autographs, and taking part in the event’s inaugural celebrity basketball challenge.

“Teams travel from as far as Pine Ridge, South Dakota; Salt River Pima, Arizona; Choctaw, Mississippi; Sioux City, Iowa; and all the way from Okeechobee, Florida to stake claim to being the best Native American High School team in the nation,” said Victor Bear, 4 Love of the Game vice-chairman. “With the talent level and competition increasing every year, teams are traveling to Oklahoma to test the strength of their programs within their respected states and vying for the right to be crowned as the tribe with the best basketball talent.”

The Choctaw Nation has once again extended their hospitality by hosting this year’s event, which will include packed lineup of dunk clinics, pool play, an all-star jam, a dash-for-cash, three-point contests, a slam-dunk contest, and a variety of fan appreciation events.

“On behalf of Chief Greg Pyle, Assistant Chief Gary Baton, and the Great Choctaw Nation, we welcome the teams and look forward to hosting the 4 Love of the Game high school basketball tournament here in Durant, land of the Choctaw Nation,” said Sue Folsom, Executive Director of Cultural Events for Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. “I would like to commend the excellent work of the organizers, Dave Pascale and Victor Bear, who have put together a great program to showcase these outstanding native athletes from around the states. This is a great tournament you don’t want to miss so come out and support our native athletes.”

Though the focus of the tournament is on showcasing the talent of Native American athletes, the event isn’t just about basketball. The tournament will officially kick off with a College Prep Day on March 21 hosted by Ivy Bridge College, the tournament sponsor. During the College Prep Day, representatives from Ivy Bridge College and other educational organizations will be available to provide student athletes with information about their college options, advice on how to apply for financial aid, and a discussion on the rigors of college life. Kenny Dobbs will also be giving a motivational speech on his educational experiences and will provide future students with insight on how to take advantage of their education options.

“Our main goal has always been for our kids to know the importance of a college education,” said Bear of the College Prep Day. “Receiving a degree and going back to your respected community and making a difference in the life of someone else is the success story we want to hear.”

Ivy Bridge College, the institution sponsoring the event, is America’s Transfer College. Specializing in creating directed pathways to a quality bachelor’s degree, Ivy Bridge gives students the opportunity to earn their associate degree online, and then transfer to one of over 100 four-year institutions within the school’s vast network of partner universities. Native American students who want to enroll in Ivy Bridge also receive additional support from the Native America Student Initiative (NASI). In addition to the flexible schedule and online learning options the rest of the student body enjoys, NASI students also benefit from the personal attention of enrollment experts who are specialized in meeting the needs of Native American students.

“At Ivy Bridge, we’re focused on helping students earn their associate degree as they prepare for the four-year program that fits their goals,” said Matt Tidwell, Ivy Bridge College’s Director of Partnerships. “We’re thrilled to be part of this event and hope the College Prep Day will be a great resource for students and parents who are interested in learning more about the types of college programs that are out there and what it takes to succeed once they get there.”

Following the College Prep Day, all teams will begin pool play on Thursday morning and will end on Friday afternoon. Teams will play three pool games, vying for the top seeds in the single elimination tournament that begins on Saturday morning. One of the highlights of the week will be Thursday’s dunk clinic with Kenny Dobbs, where Kenny will coach aspiring dunk champions on the finer techniques and skills associated with the art of dunking. Another highlight, and a favorite event from past years, is the Thursday night all-star jam where coaches and celebrities play a head-to-head game and put on a show for those in attendance.

Saturday morning marks the beginning of the single-elimination tournament and Sunday morning will hold the final four and championship games.

“It is always a great tournament with talented Native American athletes from all over the United States,” said Kevin Gwin, Director of Youth Activities for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. “If you have not had the opportunity to attend this tournament in the past I suggest you come and see the talent these teams bring to the court.”

For more information about the tournament, contact David Pascale at 918-759-0880 or Victor Bear at 918-261-2315 or email pascarelly(at)yahoo(dot)com.

To learn more about Ivy Bridge College and their Native American Student Initiative program contact Vincent Guerrieri at public.relations(at)altiused(dot)com or 415-655-8320.

About Ivy Bridge College
Ivy Bridge College is America’s transfer college, providing a direct path and support services for students to pursue an associate degree online, then transfer to one of over 100 public and private four-year partner institutions across the United States. Created through a joint venture agreement with Tiffin University of Ohio and Altius Education, headquartered in San Francisco, Ivy Bridge offers students the personalized mentoring, academic foundation, and transfer opportunities they need to successfully transfer to the four-year bachelor’s degree program of their choice and complete their degree.

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Vincent Guerrieri
Altius Education
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