FORT THOMPSON, S.D. – Shoni Schimmel, the starting guard for the Louisville women’s basketball team is the biggest celebrity on the Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation this week. But more importantly to her, she’s a role model — especially to American Indians. As part of the Crow Creek tribe’s celebration of its 150th year in Fort Thompson this summer, Schimmel and her parents were invited to town for the first of three days to share their message, “Enjoy life and follow your dreams.” The Schimmels’ visit, which lasts until Friday, also coincides with a “Back to School Bash” in which locals are preparing for the start of the upcoming school year by bringing the community together. The Schimmels were brought to Fort Thompson by the Crow Creek Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention. Shoni and her sister, Jude, both play for Louisville, which went to the NCAA Final Four in March. Louisville shocked the tournament’s No. 1-overall seed Baylor earlier in the tournament in what some consider the most important victory in Louisville women’s basketball history. After beating Baylor, Louisville lost to the University of Connecticut in the national championship game. Shoni, who will start her senior season this fall, led the Cardinals in scoring last year as a junior at 14.3 points per game. Shoni, also a member of the USA Women’s Basketball Team that was crowned world champion earlier this month, says she just tells people to follow their dream. The Schimmel sisters are scheduled to be in Eagle Butte next Monday and Tuesday for programs on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation.
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