Cards senior night will be emotional for players and fans - News, Weather & Sports

Cards senior night will be emotional for players and fans

Head Coach Jeff Walz Head Coach Jeff Walz
Erika Aemmer Erika Aemmer
Shoni Schimmel Shoni Schimmel

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A big game is on the line Monday night as the topranked Connecticut women come to town to play the University of LouisvilleCardinals. It's an important game for Head Coach Jeff Walz and company againstthe top ranked team in the country, but it's also senior night and fans fromall of the country will in the stands.

Employees at the UofL ticket office said they've never seen anything likeit. People are coming from all across America to see the Schimmel sisters andtheir Cardinal team that have truly become an inspiration.

Walz said, "It's going to be great because right now at last count,we're close to 19,000 (tickets) sold and it's going to be a great event and agreat ball game."

Reservations being made are from those who understand what the reservationmeans. The big matchup between the Cards and the Huskies comes on NativeAmerican Appreciation Night.

Erika Aemmer the UofL Assistant ticket manager explained, "We've gottencalls from Alaska to New Mexico to Florida to Texas and everywhere," shesaid, "Everybody is just coming to see Shoni and Jude play."

More than 1,500 of those fans are coming from 40 states to see two of theirheroes take the court. Shoni Schimmel said, "It's crazy that everybody iscoming from all over." 

The long journey is being made to cheer on the Schimmels' who have becomerole models.  Jude Schimmel and older sister and senior point guard ShoniSchimmel are Oregon natives who are Native American. The crowd wants to seeShoni Schimmel play in her final home game of the regular season.

The Schimmels' story played out on a national stage in the documentary"Off The Rez" as the family left the reservation against the wishesof some relatives and traditions to pursue Shoni's dream of playing collegeball.

Monday is a huge night.

Shoni Schimmel said, "There are a lot of stereotypes out there thatNative Americans can't necessarily go off a reservation and make it in the realworld and so, for Jude and I to do that and be one of the first to do it, itjust shows hey, you can go out there and make it regardless of what youdo."

Walz said, "I think it says a lot about what the Schimmels have meantto a lot of people and the amount of pride they've brought to the entire NativeAmerican community for what they've been able to do and not just on thebasketball court, but in the classroom as well."

It will be an emotional night for all the seniors.

No surprise, Shoni Schimmel said her focus will be the game and she'll letit all sink in afterward.

The players will also stay and sign autographs. You can get the remaining $5upper level seats by going to Ticketmaster.

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