The 60th Annual Klamath All-Indian World Championship Basketball Tournament
Chiloquin, Oregon
March 22-24, 2013

This past weekend the Chiloquin Big Gym in Chiloquin, Oregon was packed to capacity. Friday night thru Sunday it was standing room only.

The Men’s and Women’s games were fantastic and Saturday night games was won at the buzzer or in over-time. Many people remarked about the good spirit that filled the gym and the tradition that has led our community over the past 60 years.

Congratulations goes to everyone who played and all those who took home awards, and of course a special “thank you” to the Tournament Committee for putting together such a memorable event.

The birth of the Klamath Reservation Invitational All-Indian Basketball Tournament was in 1954. Prior to this date a local tournament was held on the Klamath Reservation for all local teams. From year to year the number of teams varied and one year ten teams were entered. The Chiloquin Townies under the capable direction of Sandy Miller consistently won the tournament. The committee was comprised of all local team managers. From time to time the committee had expressed their willingness to invite teams from other reservations. Then in the fall of 1953 the committee decided to invite four other teams for the following year. Those invited were from Warm Springs, Alturas, Ft. Bidwell, and Susanville. Since that time the tournament has continued to grow and native teams have been coming to Chiloquin from across the nation and abroad.

The following are just a few pics/highlights from the weekend events at the legendary, Chiloquin Big Gym.clip_image002

Opening Ceremonies on Friday night included an honoring of all Veterans, a Tribal Flag Song, a Welcome by Chairman Frost,
and introductions of Klamath Tribal Council and the tournament committee.clip_image003

Tournament Mascots Tyson Ochoa and Shielteal Watah was honored with their jackets and helped all weekend with the events.
Tyson attends Chiloquin Elementary and is the son of Lil Manny Ochoa, and Ginnette Kimbol.
Shielteal is 10 years old and a 5th grader at Chiloquin High. She is the daughter of basketball players, Steve and Michon Watah.
Mascot winners are chosen by best free throw shots at the earlier Eliminaton Basketball tournament. Congratulations.clip_image004

The tournament committee revived the tradition that started in 1957, with the Tournament Queen and Hostesses Contest.
This year 5 young ladies all sold pre-season tickets and worked hard over the past months to be honored on Friday night opening ceremonies.
Left to right:
Hostess/Runner up: Faryn Case- 18 year old Senior at Chiloquin High. Daughter of Ed and Torina Case.
Hostess: Tahnaya Parrish- 16 years old student of Chiloquin High. Daughter of Parrish and Katalo Shuey.
Queen: Laliyah Watah- 16 year old sophmore at Chiloquin High. Daughter of Steve and Michon Watah.
Hostess: Cecelia Wilder- 15 year old sophmore at Klamath Union High. Daughter of Charlie Wilder.
Hostess: Jenna-C Wilder- 17 year old junior at Klamath Union. Daughter of Charlie Wilder.clip_image005

Fun Fact for the 60th Annual All Indian Tournament:

Laliyah Watah and her little sister Shielteal both held titles.
Queen and Mascot 2013!


Fun Fact #2: Local team Strong Hold, brought in Oregon State’s 295-pound center, Joe Burton. Pictured here in the orange shoes and red Mohawk. Big Joe, as he is known, meshed well with his players and at the Big Gym. The “looks” across the gym was spectacular when the 6 foot 7 athlete walked into the gym and put on the yellow “Strong Hold” jersey. Burton grew up on the Soboba Indian Reservation in California. A member of the Luiseno tribe, he is the first Native American scholarship player in the Pac-12 since the league expanded in 1978. Ron Jones was the only other Native American to play at Oregon State, from 1972-74. His mother, Dondi Silvas-Nichols, made sure her son had an outlet from a sometimes chaotic life on the reservation: basketball. He was awarded a “Special Big Man Award” in Memory of Jim Watah over the weekend. Fellow teammate, Steve Watah, was honored by the Summers Family in honor of the late Albert Summers, Sr., with the 3 point shooter award. Congratulations goes to Strong Hold as the 2nd Place Winners of the entire tournament.


2013 60th Annual All-Indian World Basketball Men’s Champions- Kal Skins – Wearing their Pendleton Jackets
Congratulaltions to all the men’s teams. Spectacular games.


2013 60th Annual All-Indian World Basketball Women’s Champions- Coastal Natives!
Fun fact #3: They was also the 2012 defending champions.
Congratulations goes to local team- Crater Lake who placed 2nd in the entire tournament. Great games ladies. So proud of our hometown athletes.


The tournament committee Honored Albert Wilder Sr and Big Ed Case at the 2013 Tournament for being back-to-back former tourney champions.


Ralph DeGarmo was also honored for being one of the oldest All-Stars at the Tournament. All Starred in 1955.
Pictured here with his grandson, and tournament Director’s Ed Case IV and Lil’ Lou Miller.


Special “thank you” also goes out to these families for sponsoring the Special Tournament Awards of 2013. Special Memorial awards given were:
Jim Watah Big Man Award; Dana Degarmo Woman’s Most Inspirational; Tyler Childer’s Most Inspirational; Chad Wilder Mr. and Mrs. All Around; Albert Summers Sr. 3 point Specialist; Ceeweez Wilder Big Woman Award; Ian Bettles Mr. and Mrs. Hustle Awards.



Fun fact #4: The Medicine Rock Committee gave out information, tribal swag, and free water to the players and families over the weekend.
Many contacts and information was gathered regarding the future health complex in Chiloquin.


2013 Men’s and Women’s 60th Annual Klamath All-Indian World Champions. Kal Skins and Coastal Natives!

Hope to see everyone next year :)
*Pics by T. David