WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — President Buu Nygren received a basketball signed by the 2023 New Mexico high school state champions on Monday. He gathered with the Tohatchi High School Cougars girls varsity basketball team after their win at the New Mexico state high school championship game last month.
After greeting Head Coach Tanisha Bitsoi and the family and relatives who made the special trip to Window Rock at the president’s invitation, President Nygren gave his encouragement to the champions.
“Anything you do in life as you move forward, always work hard for your community and continue to make us proud,” the president said.
He acknowledged there are a lot of life lessons in playing sports and in winning a championship like the Tohatchi Cougars accomplished earlier in the month. He shared his encouragement with the group.
“Being successful in life, it’s a daily thing. No matter where your journey takes you in life, be bold, be strong, and never forget where you are from,” he said.
The hard work they put in on the court is something they’re going to take with them throughout their life. As champions, they’re also leaders and role-models for not only those that are following after them, but also for many adult Navajo people.
Teamwork can lead to success and is something President Nygren pointed to about his administration. He reminds his staff to be passionate, like the champions gathered there, about their work and their dedication.
“I’m almost like the coaches,” said the president about leading the Navajo Nation. “We’re doing it for the people.”
Following their meet and greet, the president’s office sponsored a luncheon for the championship team and their relatives.
Along with Head Coach Bitsoi, Darryl Bitsoi and Elvina Vallo served as assistant coaches.
Vice President Richelle Montoya, New Mexico State Senator Shannon Pinto, and Miss Navajo Nation Valentina Clitso also shared words of encouragement and congratulations.