Over the past one-hundred years, Native American Indian participation in popular sports has decreased at an astonishing rate. At the turn of the 20th Century, intercollegiate and professional sports were dominated by Native American Indians. The most notable in this long line of successful athletes was Jim Thorpe, the man honored as the Athlete of the 20th Century.

Early Native American Indian participation and achievment in athletics, most notably football, was indirectly facilitated through the vision of Lt. Richard Pratt, founder of the Carlisle Indian Boarding School where Thorpe starred. Since that time, other than a brief period during the 1920's when the Haskell Institute enjoyed great success on the gridiron, that dominance has become obsolete. Or has it?

The title "Bright Circle" is our way of honoring the greatest athlete of the 20th Century. We pay homage to Jim Thorpe whose given name in Sac and Fox was Wa-Tho-Huck, or "Bright Path". BRIGHT symbolizes the future that lies ahead for today's Native American Indian athletes while CIRCLE describes how our story begins and ends in the same place, bringing a proud history full circle.