SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, Feb. 5, 2021 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Patty Mills, an NBA Champion, three-time Olympian and proud Indigenous Australian, today announced that the NBA will support Indigenous Basketball Australia (IBA) in its inaugural year.
As part of the collaboration between the NBA and IBA, the Jr. NBA – the league’s global youth basketball program for boys and girls that teaches the fundamental skills and core values of the game – will be integrated into IBA programs and competitions. A Jr. NBA camp led by NBA International coaches will be conducted from April 11-13, 2021 at the National Indigenous Basketball Tournament (NIBT) at the Gold Coast in Queensland. The camp will provide basketball training for up to 48 boys and girls and promote standards of safe play, while delivering valuable training techniques and off-court life skills education. Additionally, as a demonstration of IBA and the NBA’s commitment to creating pathways and opportunities, up to two boys and two girls participating in the upcoming Indigenous Community Basketball League (ICBL) and NIBT will be selected to participate in the Jr. NBA Global Championship Asia-Pacific athlete selection pathway camp planned for later this year.
“Basketball as a sport has brought me happiness, joy, education and a real sense of purpose and perspective. It has changed my world and shaped the person I am today,” said Mills. “However, not everyone has had the same opportunities as I have, which is why I’m so dedicated to using my platform, my profile and my voice to develop innovative programs like IBA, which will allow my people to really own their story. I have spent over 10 years in the NBA, an organization that has not only supported and championed me as an athlete, but celebrated my cultural identity as an Australian, an Indigenous man of the land. I am ecstatic and filled with immense pride to have the world’s most renowned professional basketball league join forces with IBA – the work we are going to do together will make a real impact to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths.”
“We are proud to stand alongside NBA Champion Patty Mills, an Australian icon for his basketball achievements and for his tireless off-the-court efforts to positively effect change in his community,” said NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy. “Youth empowerment is a shared goal of the NBA and IBA, and through the Jr. NBA program, we can support Patty’s mission of providing opportunities and pathways for Indigenous youth of Australia.”
Established to overcome the many challenges and barriers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face in the current Australian basketball systems and structures, IBA seeks to empower and instil basketball skills, values, and wellness at the grassroots level to give them every opportunity to thrive, both on and off the court. The programs delivered by IBA will be the first of their kind in Australian Sport.
To learn more about IBA, please visit the official website indigenousbasketballaustralia.com or follow IBA on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn using #OwnYourStory
Source: Indigenous Basketball Australia Media Release