How Native Americans Made Basketball Their Own

In the Early 1900s, the Sport Offered a Rare Physical and Mental Refuge From Oppressive ‘Indian Schools’—and the Chance to Develop Distinctive Identities

Nowhere today are people more passionate about basketball than in Native American communities. Why?

The hoops seen outside most homes and gathering places on western reservations speak to basketball’s cultural significance for Native peoples. For them, the sport is more than a pastime. It has become a modern expression of indigenous identity and pride, and a glue that bonds families and tribes more tightly together.

It might seem peculiar that a sport invented by Dr. James Naismith, a white man, has become so dear to Native people, especially since their ancestors …

The Puerto Rican Trees That Can Stand Up to Hurricanes

In El Yunque, the Tropical Rainforest Has Evolved to Shed Its Limbs to the Wind—But Stay Upright

El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico is one of the jewels of the United States system of national forests—and its only tropical rainforest. When talking about El Yunque, forest …