October 28, 2009

Soboba star gets full scholarship

Soboba basketball star playing at next level

By Diane A. RhodesJoseph Burton is the first Soboba Indian Reservation resident to receive a full basketball scholarship to a major university in the 125-year history of the reservation.

But family and friends of the Oregon State freshman are not living in the past. Rather, they are looking to the future as Burton plays in the Beavers' first exhibition game of the season Sunday. He plays forward and center for the team.

"Joseph was always into basketball," said his mother, Dondi Silvas-Nichols. "He was raised on the reservation, but we moved into Hemet so he could go to West Valley High--he wanted to play on the best basketball team in the valley."

Burton, 18, also played basketball with the Compton Magic travel team, based in Corona.
Comment:  Undoubtedly some Indian has received a full basketball scholarship to a major university--but I don't know who it might be. If this were a first for any Indian, it would be even more impressive.

For more on the subject, see Indians Love Rez Ball and The Unofficial Sport of Indian Country.

Below:  "Dondi Silvas-Nichols, center, holds a portrait of her son Joseph Burton, who received a basketball scholarship to Oregon State. Burton's fans include family members, from left, aunt Denise Silvas-Thomas, cousin Shayna Silvas-Thomas, grandpa Charles Silvas and grandma Yvonne Silvas. Supporters not pictured include stepdad Kendall Nichols and uncle DeMario Thomas. The watercolor of Burton was painted by family friend Keith Cameron." (Diane A. Rhodes/The Press-Enterprise)

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