By Lindsay Schnell
The Beavers will debut their new gear--and shoes--this Sunday, Nov. 21 when they play Texas Southern in the Nike N7 game at Gill Coliseum.
N7 is the division of Nike devoted to helping Native American communities get better access to sport. It's been around for almost 10 years, but this will be the first game of its kind, and N7 director Sam McCracken said that a lot of the credit goes to coach Craig Robinson.
Robinson started to learn a lot about Native American culture and the community when he was recruiting Joe Burton, a sophomore who is part of the Soboba Tribe. Since he arrived at Oregon State three seasons ago Robinson has been looking for OSU to support a special community cause, and N7 allowed the Beavers to do that.
"I didn't know much about Native Americans until I started recruiting Joe," Robinson said. "Joe is the type of person that people want to follow and I saw it firsthand when I recruited him and was taken out to the reservation.
"The one thing that rang true is that in the Native American culture, sport plays a very big part there and it's important on different levels. You see older folks play softball, you see young kids playing basketball. To be able to do something that helps bring sport and bring access to sport to kids all around the country, it's really a pleasure to be a part of."
Last year, N7 helped funded more than 18 Native American programs around the country and donated more than $350,000 in grants to help kids gain access to sport. It's also worth noting that former OSU baseball star Jacoby Ellsbury (who grew up in Madras and is of Navajo decent) and gymnast D'Anna Piro are both heavily involved with N7.
Below: "Oregon State will wear new turquoise uniforms and special shoes this Sunday when they play Texas Southern in the first ever Nike N7 game."