Be a Pro at Being You.

We Help Native Youth Create Remarkable Lives.

At Rise Above, we empower Native youth to lead healthy lives despite the challenges. We deliver education, prevention skills and mentorship through programs tailored to their needs.

Working closely with tribes and partners, we build tailored education programs with basketball clinics at the center. The clinics — free for youth — are the draw and the platform, an invitation for Native youth to hone their skills on and off the court. And research shows us that kids learn better when they engage their bodies along with their brains. 

If you’re registering for one of our upcoming clinics, welcome! We can’t wait to meet you!

"Rise Above represents an opportunity for all individuals to rise above their current circumstances. Helping youth discover the tools to live their best lives every day, through sports and personal development, is key to building tomorrow's leaders."
NBA legend and three-time Hall of Famer

We Give Youth Skills to Beat the Odds.

At Rise Above, we invest in our youth today by empowering them with the skills they need to create healthy tomorrows. Using meaningful data, we ensure that the real-life education and mentorship programs we provide are tailored to the needs of the youth we serve.

Meaningful Data.

We survey youth participants about issues that our partners say are most important. In turn, our partners use that data to prioritize their work, secure funding and build programs that lead to positive change.

Real-Life Education.

We cover the topics that our partners — 30 tribes and counting, the City of Seattle and others — say matter most to the kids they serve. They often include suicide, diabetes and obesity prevention; alcohol, tobacco and drug misuse; healthy relationships; and bullying.


Our mentorship program aims to pair Native youth with tribal leaders throughout Indian country.​

Spaces for Youth to Connect.​​

Through Our Centers.

We’re starting with one.

Through a partnership with the Kalispel Tribe on its land in Airway Heights, Washington (just outside Spokane), the first Rise Above Center will start development soon.

A multi-court athletic facility, the Rise Above Center also will house programs to educate and support Native youth, serving kids from local tribes and attracting youth from throughout the region and U.S. The partnership also meets the region’s need for high-quality, indoor basketball, volleyball and other courts. Plans call for:

60,000 square feet of courts.

Classrooms for instruction.

Room for a basketball-themed hotel.

A basketball training center and a fitness center.

Physical therapy space.

Food and beverage services.

Rise Above aims to work with tribes and other partners to build five or more centers, serving youth and communities throughout Indian country.

The centers will provide stability and long-term partnership with tribal and prevention leaders in its partner communities, while also offering a chance to develop tribal resources while improving the lives of Native kids through education, opportunity and sports.

Through Our Stories.

We’re making the movie that’s missing.

A Native hoops legend, Rise Above founder Jaci McCormack is the heart and guts of our organization. Her story is one of hard work and hope in the face of adversity — but it’s also a story rarely seen on the screen.

Native American success stories don’t usually make it into the movies. But for young people, representation matters. Media portrayals of Native young people’s lives affect how others see them — and, more importantly, how they see themselves.

So we’re making the movie that’s missing.

“Rise Above,” the feature-length film, will tell Jaci’s story as she broke barriers on and off the court. It stands to inspire a generation of Native kids and female athletes.

At the same time, it will create a long-term revenue source that helps to sustain our mission.

Thanks to the new digital landscape, more audiences will be able to pay to watch “Rise Above” in more ways: at home, at the theater, at community events. Our funding model ensures that as much of the film’s revenue as possible goes back to our youth programs.

Meet the Team.

Native American leaders who tirelessly advocate for their communities. Community activists striving to make the world a better place. Two NBA Hall of Famers — one the winningest coach in the history of the NBA, the other known by his nickname, “The Glove.” And one of the greatest Native American basketball players whose work after the game has impacted thousands of children.


We are always looking for partners — tribes, prevention advocates, community organizations — who share our vision and our passion for changing the lives of Native youth.

Partners like YOU.

"Everything will not always go your way. There will be both losses and wins, like with basketball, but if you give everything your best shot and learn the lessons along the way, you will come out a winner."
SuperSonic Legend and NBA Hall of Famer