Haven't watched since Shoni

2024 WNBA Draft

Haven’t watched since Shoni

2024 WNBA Draft

If you’re not already following us on all socials, please do so to stay the most up to date and informed as possible. The links are posted below.

 This is the first time I’m going to watch the WNBA draft since Shoni Schimmel was taken in the first round by the Atlanta Dream. That was back in 2014. Yes. An entire decade ago.

We have a new Kossin in Alissa Pili as one of our own to root for, but the entire 2024 draft class is absolutely stacked.

It will be featuring a lineup of players poised to redefine the game. Here's a few reasons why the anticipation is sky-high.

Caitlin Clark: Known for her phenomenal scoring ability and playmaking skills at Iowa, Caitlin has been a record breaking sensation in college basketball, breaking almost every scoring record possible. Her ability to control the game and deliver under pressure makes her a top pick, anticipated to bring star power and leadership to whichever WNBA team (99.99 percent Indiana) she joins.

Angel Reese: Dominating at LSU with her incredible rebounding skills and versatility, Angel has shown she can change the dynamics of any game. Her relentless energy and prowess in the paint are expected to translate from National Champion in college to champion hopeful in the WNBA, making her a formidable presence on the court.

Alissa Pili: Our very own Kossin and Utah powerhouse has been turning heads with her scoring efficiency and physical play. Alissa's adaptability and basketball IQ allow her to outmaneuver defenders and make critical plays, qualities that will serve her well in the professional ranks.

Cameron Brink: A standout at Stanford, Cameron is known for her defensive skills and shot-blocking ability. Her height and agility make her a natural disruptor in the defensive zone, and she's just as capable on the offensive end, promising to be a dual-threat in the WNBA.

The entry of these top-tier athletes into the WNBA signifies a shift towards even more competitive and high-stakes basketball. Each player brings a unique set of skills that can rejuvenate teams and intensify the league's competitive edge. The potential for immediate impact by these young stars will make the upcoming season one of the most unpredictable and exciting yet.

The draft goes beyond just athletic performance; it's about the personal achievements and the stories of resilience behind these young women. From overcoming injuries and personal hardships to shining on the national stage, the backgrounds of these athletes make their successes all the more inspiring and relatable to fans around the world.

The increasing attention and support for the WNBA draft are testaments to the growing prominence of women's sports. This year's draft not only highlights the talents of individual athletes but also celebrates the broader progress and recognition of women's basketball as a whole.

 The 2024 WNBA Draft is not just an event—it's a pivotal moment in women’s sports history. These players are set to bring fresh energy and passion to the league, promising to elevate the game and captivate basketball fans globally. Don't miss the chance to witness the birth of new legacies in the WNBA.

 Good luck to all of these ladies especially our Kossin Ms. Pili.

The Draft will take place on Monday, April 15 at 4:30PM PST.

As always, If you don’t know now you know, a Native!



Serving the Underserved

Pizza for Natives

Article via Entrepreneur

When Dennis Johnson opened a Pizza Ranch in Minnesota, he hoped to serve the nearby Native American communities in more ways than one.

 Many things make Bemidji, Minnesota, a special place. Among them: It’s the central city for three Native American reservations, it’s the northernmost city connected to the Mississippi River, and it’s where the folklore figure Paul Bunyan was supposedly born. But according to an entrepreneur in the area, it was sorely lacking something important: Pizza Ranch, a buffet restaurant that’s thriving in the Midwest.

 “I live in South Dakota, so we’re in Pizza Ranch country,” says Dennis Johnson, a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, who’d been working in commercial real estate. When he visited Bemidji in 2020, he was surprised not to find one there. That’s too bad, he thought; Pizza Ranch could be a gathering place and a steady employer for local tribes. He asked around and met local entrepreneur Bob Bush, who’d had the same thought. “I said I would invest and help him find the real estate,” Johnson says. “A partnership was born.” Johnson and Bush opened their first location in Bemidji in January 2023, and then a second in Kearney, Nebraska, that September.

Here, Johnson talks about what the Pizza Ranch brand can offer his Native American community.

Did you know anything about operating pizza restaurants when you started this journey?

No, and I said, “Pizza Ranch is fabulous, but I don’t want to be the guy running it.” Bob said he had someone to run it. So three of the five members of our management team came with that partnership. I’ve always said I wouldn’t want to own a restaurant, but of all the times to start one, this idea was born in June 2020, in the middle of COVID. Not just a restaurant, but a buffet restaurant on top of that. It seems kind of crazy, doesn’t it?

You must have really believed in the opportunity?

100% conviction. Pizza Ranch is a warm and inviting atmosphere. “Gathering place” is really the best term for it. You’ll have multiple generations at the tables. And we’ve got arcades attached to some of our restaurants. They have proven to be a big part of Pizza Ranch’s growth, and they take less human capital to run since you’re leveraging games and technology.

 Do you feel like Native American areas are often underserved with franchises?

I do. I think that’s one of our success factors in Bemidji. We opened last January and fast-forward to this January, we ended 2023 at approximately 7% above our forecasted revenue budget. I attribute a lot of that to the Native American communities. We also have many tribal people working for us. We’ve even had some people that said the only reason they applied to work here was they heard it was a tribal-owned business. I love that.

Have there been any challenges for you as a Native American business owner?

No. Historically that’s been a problem, but there does seem to be a changing tide. The city of Bemidji has reached out to at least one of those three tribes and met with them in the last year to say, “Hey, we’d love it if you guys did more business in Bemidji. We’d love to have more tribal representation here.” I don’t know if that would have been the case 20 years ago.

Do you have expansion plans? 

I’ve got a plan to do another 10 locations over the next five years, and we’d like to expand to 20 in a seven-to-10-year period. And if all goes as we anticipate, we can even accelerate that a little bit.

Shoni Schimmel - Umatilla

 Shoni Schimmel, born on May 4, 1992, in Mission, Oregon, is a basketball prodigy who transcended expectations to become a trailblazing figure in women's basketball. Her captivating style of play, charismatic personality, and unwavering determination have endeared her to fans around the world.

 Raised on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Shoni's basketball journey began at an early age, where she honed her skills on the court with her family. The Schimmel family's love for basketball was palpable, with Shoni and her sister Jude Schimmel quickly gaining recognition for their exceptional talent.

Shoni's high school career at Franklin High School in Portland, Oregon, was nothing short of spectacular. Her extraordinary scoring ability, court vision, and flair for the dramatic made her a local legend. She became a two-time Oregon State Player of the Year and was selected to the prestigious McDonald's All-American team. 

Her remarkable high school achievements earned her a scholarship to the University of Louisville, where she would go on to leave an indelible mark. As a Louisville Cardinal, Shoni Schimmel led her team to unprecedented success. Her tenure included multiple NCAA Tournament appearances and a historic trip to the 2013 NCAA Championship game. Shoni's captivating style of play, characterized by behind-the-back passes and long-range three-pointers, made her a fan favorite and earned her the nickname "Showtime."

 Off the court, her Native heritage became a source of inspiration for countless young Indigenous athletes. She embraced her role as an ambassador for her community, using her platform to advocate for Native issues and to promote the importance of education and cultural awareness.

 In 2014, she was drafted by the Atlanta Dream in the first round of the WNBA Draft. Her impact in the professional league was immediate, earning her a spot in the WNBA All-Star Game during her rookie season. She continued to dazzle fans with her flashy playmaking and clutch performances.

 Her journey has not been without challenges. Injuries and transitions between teams tested her resilience. However, her passion for the game and her commitment to her roots never wavered. She continued to inspire, both on and off the court.

Beyond basketball, her legacy is defined by her cultural pride and her dedication to making a positive impact in Tribal communities. She has organized basketball camps and events for Native youth, emphasizing the importance of education, self-belief, and the preservation of cultural heritage.

 Her charismatic presence and dynamic style of play have left an indelible mark on women's basketball, while her commitment to her heritage has made her an icon for Native youth across the nation.

 Shoni’s incredible journey from a small reservation to the heights of professional basketball serves as an inspiration for aspiring athletes and advocates of cultural pride and awareness.

This section as always is brought to you by the Kossin Brand.

The purpose of the Kossin brand is to connect our people through inclusivity and commonalities.

Many other brands and companies aim to divide and conquer, however at Kossin they do not.

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Redwood Valley Little River Band of Pomo Indians

The Redwood Valley Little River Band of Pomo Indians (Redwood Valley Rancheria) is a federally recognized Indian tribe located in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County, California. For several thousand years the Tribe’s ancestors lived along the West Fork of the Russian River, located north of Calpella, CA. The Tribe interacted with other Pomo tribes located within the Russian River watershed, the Eel River watershed, and tribes found along the coasts of the Clearlake and the Pacific Ocean.

 Much was lost with the advancement of European settlers before and after the California Goldrush.  In 1908 Redwood Valley Rancheria was established as a home for "Homeless Indians." However, In 1958 the United States Congress terminated Redwood Valley Rancheria and many other tribes by enacting the California Rancheria Termination Act. In 1983 this act was declared illegal as a result of the Tillie Hardwick, et al. v. United States of America, et al. Case. Redwood Valley Rancheria and many other rancherias had their tribal status restored.

 The Redwood Valley Little River Band of Pomo Indians is a sovereign indian tribe with the powers of self-governance. Its tribal members elect a Tribal Council which acts as the governing body. The Council is authorized to write and enact ordinances and resolutions, conduct tribal business, and perform other actions that are commonly delegated to local governments.

​Today, Redwood Valley Rancheria has 159 acres of land in trust. It manages a wide array of social, educational, environmental and infrastructure programs. Click on the menu above to find out more about these programs.

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