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Ball is Life on the Navajo Nation

Ball is Life on the Navajo Nation
August 14
07:24 2019

By John Christian Hopkins

Hoop, there it is!

Basketball is a huge part of life on a reservation. Here, on the Navajo Nation, it seems like there are hoop tournaments all the time.

Now, a new Netflix documentary – “Basketball or Nothing” – will focus on Chinle High School’s boy’s basketball team.

The series began August 2 and will run for six weeks.

Viewers can watch as the Chinle team fought its way into the state tournament during the 2017-2018 school year,

Shaun Martin, a Navajo, is an athletic director for the Chinle School District, and a graduate of Page High School. He hopes the series will educate people ‘on what happened in Native America.”

He also hopes the exposure can morph into more opportunities for native kids and communities.

Golfer Rickie Fowler

The Netflix team spent a year following the team, said co-director Matt Howley.

They began – on Martin’s advice – by putting the cameras aside and getting to know the kids and their families, Howley said. It began with breakfasts and soon turned into invitations to sheep butcherings and family gatherings, he added.

Two prominent Navajo athletes – golfers Rickie Fowler and Notah Begay III – were executive producers on the project.

Fowler funded the project!

Ball is Life on the Navajo Nation - overview

Summary: Netflix documentary – "Basketball or Nothing" basketball on the Navajo Reservation


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