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Updated Jul 9, 2014 - 5:50 am

Fountain Hills playing host to 13th Annual Lori Piestewa Native American Games

PHOENIX -- Quick! In U.S. sports, who would you name as the greatest all around athlete of the past century?

Most sports enthusiasts would say Jim Thorpe. But, many may not know that the multi-talented Olympic gold medalist, who also played pro baseball and football, was also a Pottawatomie Indian from Oklahoma.

This week, thousands of Native American athletes from around the country hope to show their sports greatness, too, at the 13th Annual Lori Piestewa National Native American Games in Fountain Hills.

"Our first games kick off Thursday night with basketball," said Gary Nees with the Grand Canyon State Games (GCSG). "On Friday, at six in the morning, we do cross country, and then the other six sports follow throughout the weekend."

As of Wednesday morning, Nees said the softball, volleyball, basketball and baseball tournaments were already bracketed and closed to new entries, "but, the individual sports -- wrestling, cross country and track -- are all open."

Nees noted that the GCSG named the competition after Navajo native Lori Piestewa because she was a national and local hero and.

"She was an athlete in high school, a three sport letterman, basketball, track, cross country," said Nees.

Piestewa was the first Native American Woman ever killed in combat. She died in 2003 when her vehicle was attacked during the U.S. invasion in Iraq.

To see what's open, where to go, and what times the games are starting, visit the Grand Canyon State Games website.

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About the Author


Holliday Moore is a Phoenix native with more than 25 years experience in the local and national broadcast and media industry. A graduate of ASU's journalism program, with a second major in Marketing & Management, she considers herself one of the lucky few to be doing exactly what she loves, writing and producing news.

In 2012, she won a prestigious Edward R. Murrow award for a light feature radio story on snakes. For the record, snakes do not say much! She is also honored to be one of two nominees this year for a Mark Twain Award involving her series on Arizona drowning cases.

Among her career accomplishments, Moore has taken home a television Emmy for Cultural Issues Reporting on the Navajo/Hopi Partition Land Act. She has also won numerous Emmy nominations for hard, soft and even sports reporting. However, Moore considers her highest achievement was on the day she received the prestigious Walter Cronkite Political Excellence Award for developing the Scripps Television stations' Democracy 2000 & 2002 program. Bob Morford, ABC 15's News Director at the time, asked Moore to head the project with one wish, "Try not to lose ratings," he said. "We not only did not lose ratings," says Moore, "We actually improved ratings between the coveted 5:00-6:30pm news block."

"She created, designed and executed the award winning program," recalls Morford, "Her efforts brought a great deal of notice and credit to our station."

Moore loves a challenge and is an adrenaline junky by nature. She ran 400 hurdles in college and more recently half marathons to raise thousands of dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She works part time for KTAR Radio while volunteering for her young son's elementary school and running a freelance media services business.

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