If the Indian nations as a whole were ever to declare a sport their national pastime, you can bet basketball would be right up there with lacrosse. Basketball has been an all-consuming passion and a source of pride in Native American communities for generations, with reservation courts serving as proving grounds for players who could more than hold their own on any court. The cream of the Native American crop pursues their hoop dreams in our own backyard at the 2005 Native American Basketball Invitational, Saturday, June 25 at America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson. Games begin at 2 p.m. A field of 64 teams from across the United States and Canada will have been whittled down to four teams in both the boys' and girls' divisions prior to Saturday's action, which features the semifinal and championship games for both. General admission tickets cost $10. Children 6 and younger are admitted free. Visit www.nabihoops.com. -- Craig Wallach
Spare the Children
Alley up for a good cause
Certified roofers do it better -- for charity, of course -- on Saturday, June 25, when the Arizona Roofing Contractors Association hosts the eighth annual "Raising the Roof for Our Youth" bowling tourney from noon to 5:30 p.m. at the Brunswick Mission Bell Lanes, 17210 North 59th Avenue in Glendale. Proceeds benefit Phoenix Youth At Risk. Call 602-258-1012. -- Joe Watson
The Wheel World
Pedal it for cash (if you're lucky)
There's no time to pace yourself on Saturday, June 25, at the "Patent It!" Summer Heat Criterium bicycle races at Firebird Raceway, 20000 Maricopa Road in Chandler. While overall winners take home more than $2,000, "primes" totaling $4,000 will be doled out to lap winners and other incentive-seekers. The action starts at 7 a.m. See azcycling.com. -- Joe Watson
Rough 'Em Up
Rugby's what now?
Ever since that first footballer used his hands to pick up the football, somebody's been trying to tackle the guy with the football. Well, not the football, the rugby ball. Confused yet? Check this out: Legend has it that Teddy Roosevelt was so appalled at the brutality of rugby, he insisted changes be made. So, now, we call the game football. Woah! But who cares about football (either type)? Let's talk rugby. The Tempe Rugby Club (est. 1980) is hosting the Sizzling 7s Tournament, Saturday, June 25. Teams governed by the Pacific Coast Rugby Union (Arizona, Northern California, Utah, Washington, Oregon and Idaho) will compete in this unique and fast-paced showdown. Each team is reduced from fifteen to seven players. Every match is composed of two seven-minute halves. Expect to see a dozen or more clubs with players from New Zealand, South Africa, Hawaii and more. First game kicks off at 4 p.m. at Snedigar Sports Complex in Chandler, 4500 South Basha Road. Admission is free. Visit www.temperugby.com. -- Aaron Burckle
Brutes up in arms
Worried you've pissed away those Olympic dreams with that nightly six-pack habit? Nonsense! With a paradigm shift, those 12-ounce curls become a rigorous form of training for the arm-wrestling competition at the Grand Canyon State Games. "We're out to attract people who have always wanted to try the sport but have never found the proper venue," says coordinator Eric Wolfe, ranked fifth in the world in his weight class. For those who haven't arm-wrestled since grade school days, Wolfe has a few tips. "Don't try to immediately pin your opponent, but instead, pull them to your side of the table. It's all about leverage." Walk-up registration is available for $10 before the competition that runs from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 25 at the Arizona Mills Mall, 5000 Arizona Mills Circle in Tempe. Call 602-463-5220 or see www.gcsg.org. -- Douglas Towne
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