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LISTEN: World Indigenous basketball champs heading to take on new challenge

The World Indigenous Basketball Challenge scheduled from Aug. 8 to Aug. 12 in Vancouver.

Dakota Nepoose from Samson Cree Nation and Mitch Troock, Métis, whose family originally came from the Lac Ste. Anne area, are members of the Alberta War Scouts. The team was created in 2012, and it recently won the World Indigenous Nations (WIN) Games Men's Basketball tournament held in Edmonton.

Nepoose was an organizer of the WIN Games and just finished a stint as a coach for Track and Field for Team Alberta at the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto. Mitch had his own NAIG games experience in basketball for Team Alberta in 2008.

The War Scouts are heading off to Vancouver and the World Indigenous Basketball Challenge scheduled from Aug. 8 to Aug. 12 where they will compete against teams from Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Bermuda and several teams from North America, including the powerhouse Skidegate Saints, which the Scouts lost to in last year’s challenge by 15 points.

The Scouts practise at the Royal Alex gymnasium. They are facing the Somali Dream Team, the first game of the tourney. 

The War Scouts will be the only team there from Alberta and eight of their 12 players are First Nations or Métis and have college basketball experience. This is the Scouts’ second time going to the challenge, having attended the inaugural event last year, placing seventh of 12 teams.

World Indigenous Basketball Challenge will be held in the University of British Columbia's War Memorial Gym. This year's tournament will feature 16 men's teams and eight women's teams. Each international team will play a North American team in the first round.

Follow the War Scouts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Check out the Challenge website at indigenousbasketball.ca Admission is $5 per day with kids under 12 free. The games and opening ceremonies will be live streamed.

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