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Seminoles Honor Native American Heritage Month

Nov. 14, 2013

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ( - The Florida State men's basketball team will wear turquoise Nike N7 uniforms against UT Martin on Sunday to raise awareness for bringing sport to Native American and Aboriginal youth.

Nike N7 is partnering with four universities--Florida State, Nevada, New Mexico and Oregon State--to bring Native American Heritage Month to life on the basketball court during November. Teams from the participating schools will make a distinct departure from their traditional school colors to don new, turquoise Nike N7 uniforms for one special game each, to stand for the importance of bringing sport and physical activity to Native American and Aboriginal youth.

"The Seminole Tribe of Florida approached us about this program and we are honored and excited to wear these unique uniforms," said head coach Leonard Hamilton. "The color is significant as it is deeply symbolic of friendship and community in the Native American culture."

Basketball is the most popular sport among youth on Native lands, with the dribbling of the basketball on the hardwood court a virtual heartbeat of the community. The goal of the November basketball games is to tap into this insight, and create even greater awareness--both inside and outside Native communities--for the need to inspire all Native youth to lead physically active lifestyles and be a force for positive change in generations to come. The turquoise color of the uniforms is also deeply symbolic of friendship and community in Native American culture.

Oregon State was the first to make the commitment to wear turquoise in 2010, when its men's basketball team made history as the first collegiate team to recognize Native American Heritage Month and Nike N7.

Each of the other three universities also has its own unique connection to N7 and the Native American community: • Florida State is deeply connected to the Seminole Nation community surrounding the university. • Nevada is inspired by former team member and now professional basketball player Tahnee Robinson, who also serves as an N7 athlete ambassador. • New Mexico has a unique relationship with the Notah Begay III Foundation through its soccer programs and partners with surrounding Native communities through its hospital programs.

Teams Wearing Nike N7 Turquoise
Nov. 17: Florida State (M) Nov. 22: Nevada (M) Nov. 26: Oregon State (M) Nov. 29: Nevada (W) Nov. 30: New Mexico (M)

In 2000, Nike N7 General Manager Sam McCracken had the idea to sell Nike products directly to Native American tribes to support health promotion and disease prevention programs. Seven years after Nike's Native American division began, the Nike design team collaborated with various community experts and tribal leaders to create footwear specifically for the Native American community, called Nike Air Native N7. All proceeds from the Air Native N7, which is sold through Native American community centers and tribes, are given back to youth sport and physical activity programs in Native communities across North America through the N7 Fund.

Beginning in 2009, Nike expanded N7 product to include a N7 collection available for purchase by anyone inspired by Native athletes and the N7 Fund, which the collection supports. The N7 Collection highlights the N7 philosophy--In every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations--and also embodies Nike's Considered Design ethos to create performance product engineered for superior athletic performance and lower environmental impact.

The mission of the N7 Fund is to inspire and enable two million Native American and Aboriginal youth in North American to participate in sport and physical activity. Since 2009, the N7 Fund has raised more than $2 million has been raised for Native American and Aboriginal youth sport programs through the N7 Fund. Nike N7 and the N7 Fund are aligned with Designed to Move, a growing community of public, private and civil sector organizations (including Nike) dedicated to ending the growing epidemic of physical inactivity.

For Nike N7 Collection retail locations and for more information about Nike N7, visit, or follow Nike N7 on Facebook and @NikeN7.

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