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Reclaiming Fitspo: Shoni Schimmel

Schimmel is an American basketball player. 

As a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Mission, Oregon, Schimmel was the subject of the 2011  documentary “Off the Rez, by Jonathan Hock. This film chronicled her efforts to earn an NCAA scholarship. Playing as point guard for her high school teams, she was successful: Not only was she able to attend the University of Louisville, her work got her named a first team All-American by Parade magazine, selected for the 2010 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association High School Coaches’ All-America Team, and named as a WBCA All-American (which made her eligible to play in the all-star game).  

As a four-year starter for the Louisville Cardinals, Schimmel has carved out a place of honor on the team. As a senior in the 2013-2014 season, she averaged 17.1 points per game, leading the team in scoring. For her career, she finished second on the Louisville scoring list with 2,174 total points. Her skill rightfully got her named an All-American by the USBWA and Associated Press.

In April 2014, Schimmel was selected during the first round of the WNBA draft and will be playing for the Atlanta Dream. 

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SHONI SCHIMMEL now plays basketball for the University of Louisville.  But for the two plus years that filmmaker Jonathan Hock reported her story in Off the Rez, a fast break of a documentary that debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival, she showed her shooting prowess and amazing behind her back dribble and passing ability while playing for Franklin High School in Portland, OR.   Eighth-ranked women’s high school basketball player in the nation in her senior year, Shoni was coached by her mother who moved her family from the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton, OR across the state to give her daughter more access to the college scouts.  Watching Shoni in Off the Rez, which you can do when TLC airs the documentary Saturday night at 9 p.m. on May 14th, is likely to have the same effect as when you first saw Michael Jordan – not surprisingly she wears number 23.