Boomers star Patty Mills’ mission to provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has led to the formation of the Indigenous Community Basketball League.
In conjunction with Indigenous Basketball Australia, NBA guard Mills has created a competition that will target players aged under 14 and take place across eight locations in Australia, including the Torres Strait Islands.
“To continue my efforts as a leader for my people and to follow my family’s legacy of providing legitimate opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through my sport of basketball is the true outcome of my personal success and accomplishments.” three-time Olympian Mills said.
“What we will do with the IBA programs and competitions has never been done before and is the first-of-its-kind in this country’s sporting environment. It’s game changing and we’re creating history.
“As a starting point, we will begin with the age group of under 14. The early adolescence years are crucial for a child’s cognitive, emotional and social development.
“Our complementary programs throughout the competitions of IBA will support these kids and their communities in embracing their culture and unlocking ones full potential in an environment that is safe and free from any discrimination.
“We want to give them the best possible chance to succeed. As we grow, we will expand to more regions and more age groups.”
The first round of the competition tips off on February 7, with each player competing in the ICBL to be considered for selection for their state in the National Indigenous Basketball Tournament on the Gold Coast in April.
ICBL matches will be played in Logan, Cairns, Dubbo, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Darwin, Perth and Thursday Island.
Cairns Taipans centre Nathan Jawai said: “As a proud Torres Strait Islander, I am incredibly supportive of Indigenous Basketball Australia and the real opportunity it would bring to my people – both on and off the court.
“The IBA model will see young players supported in a positive and safe environment to fulfil their dreams; equipping them with invaluable tools, skills and experience to flourish and succeed.
“I strongly encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths to sign up today
to participate in the Indigenous Community Basketball League and the innovative IBA programs.|”