Apunipima Australian Indigenous Basketball All-stars prep for Canadian tour

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The Apunipima Australian Indigenous Basketball All Stars will head to Canada today, as part of their journey to compete in the World Indigenous Basketball Challenge (WIBC) that is being held at the University of British Columbia (UBC) War Memorial Stadium this week.

It is the first time the team, made up of Australia’s finest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander basketball talent, has attended the international competition.

The four-day event which takes place from August 9-12, will see sixteen men’s teams do battle for the Indigenous world title.

The All Stars concluded their WIBC preparations with a two-day training camp held in Brisbane, before departing on the 14-hour flight to Vancouver this morning.

Upon arrival into Vancouver, the squad will have a light training session followed by a short tour of the city.

The side will play a tournament lead-up game against the Zambian National Team on Tuesday afternoon, August 8 before the WIBC Opening Ceremony will commence later that evening.

The All Stars officially open their WIBC campaign on Wednesday night at 9:30pm, when they will face Team Vancouver.

Following that first game the All Stars will progress into either the winners bracket or losers bracket.

All Stars Head Coach Joel Khalu said the team had a productive weekend of preparations in Brisbane.

“Training camp was fantastic and we achieved the expectations and goals we had going in,” Khalu said.

“It’s always a challenge when you have to try and squeeze in a lot of information to players in a short period of time, but I was happy with the outcomes we reached relating to our style of play and offensive and defensive philosophies.”

“This scenario is nothing new for this group, as this is typically the same process we undertake when planning for the annual Trans-Tasman series against the New Zealand Maori National Team.”

“The good thing is we have a pre-tournament game in Vancouver against Zambia on Tuesday, so that will help the guys get a bit more familiar with each other and also help to alleviate the jetlag after travelling such a long way.”

“It’s going to be a massive challenge for us to go there and win the entire thing, but I believe if we are able to play our natural free-flowing style and do a great job defensively in each matchup, we should put ourselves in a pretty good position to have some success.”

Keep up to date throughout the tournament via the AIB Facebook page here.

For more information please contact Apunipima Australian Indigenous Basketball All Stars Head Coach Joel Khalu on 0415 180 072 or khalujoel@gmail.com