Photo Gallery: 2018 Earl Dunn Memorial Basketball Tournament
NIXON, Nev. — The 2018 Earl Dunn Memorial Basketball Tournament took place March 30-April 1 at the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation gym in Nixon, Nevada, featuring 18 men’s teams from regional tribes.
Below is a story about the history of the tournament and Earl himself, as provided to First Nation’s Focus by Earl’s family:
About the tournament, and Earl Dunn
The “Pyramid Lake All Indian Invitation Tournament” started February 1963 as a tourney put on by the Nixon Braves ball club.
In 1979, Ralph Dunn became tournament director. After the untimely death of our father in 1983, we changed the tournament to the “Earl Dunn Memorial.”
Since 1984, the tournament has been a men’s tourney; a women’s, men’s and teen tourney; and now is an all-Indian men’s tourney.
While our dad is well known as an outstanding basketball player, he also excelled in football, baseball and boxing. He played on town teams here in Nevada and also as a member of the First Americans.
The First Americans were an all-Indian team that toured the United States during Earl’s prep days at Stewart High School, during which he was an all-state cager three years in a row; Golden Gloves boxing champion; and he made the National All-Indian Tournament six teams.
In baseball, he was an all-league pitcher for the Sagebrush League town team. Earl was without a doubt Nevada’s Jim Thorpe.
Since 1995, our family has been honoring past players and fans — these people make the tournament what it is today. I know that our dad greatly appreciated all of his teammates over the years, and honoring them during this tournament is something he would have valued. It is an honor to see third and fourth generations play in this tournament.
Our family consists of our mother, Rosalie; sons Ralph and Iggy Dunn; and daughters Lori Black, Angey Dunn and Anita Dunn. We look forward each year for our dad’s memorial tourney. He is greatly missed, but will always be with us in our hearts and prayers forever. Although you are gone, those precious memories linger on.
I am over the moon with how strong our school-community relationship is, how easy it was to grow, and surprised by the willingness of my community, students and parents alike, to move in this direction too.