Three Indigenous teams across the men’s and women’s competition have completed successful tournaments at the 2017 World Indigenous Basketball Challenge in Canada.
The Djookyaans Australian Indigenous women claimed the bronze medal after finishing with a 2-1 record, defeating the Plains Lady Warriors from Central Canada in their final game, 77-56.
Despite competing with just six players, the Djookyaans (Sisters) had every player hit the scoreboard in that bronze medal game, led by Renai Fejo’s 21 points while Talisia Bourne collected 17 points and six assists.
Australia had two women’s teams competing in the inaugural tournament with the Maal-ya Australian Indigenous women finishing in fifth place.
They also owned a 2-1 record, getting past Heiltsuk Nation in their last game, 83-65.
Australian Opal Rohanee Cox starred all tournament while Georgia Baldwin scored a game-high 30 points to finish the competition on a high.
Find the full schedule and results for the tournament here.
For the men, the Apunipima Australian Indigenous Basketball All-Stars faced a tough task with a victory needed in their first game to progress to the winners’ bracket.
They came up just short, falling 69-72 despite a ferocious comeback in the fourth quarter as Deba George scored 27 points for the game with the team relegated then to the bottom bracket.
Their next clash was against Zambian Team Bantu and they responded with a 90-77 win before rounding out the tournament with a 68-79 loss to USA side, ITA Native Sports.
Find the full schedule and results from the All-Stars’ games here.
Following this auspicious opportunity to compete against international competition, the All-Stars will now prepare for their Trans-Tasman series against the New Zealand Maori national team later this year.