Indigenous Basketball Australia (IBA) and NBA star and three-time Olympian Patty Mills have formed the first ever Indigenous Community Basketball League (ICBL), in partnership with the NBA.
Officially launched over the weekend in eight locations around the country, the youth basketball program gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players aged 14 years or under an opportunity to advance in the sport while maintaining culture and building important life skills.
In its first year the ICBL has just over 1,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants at a grass roots level with each player competing for a chance to represent their region at the National Indigenous Basketball Tournament (NIBT) led by international NBA coaches on the Gold Coast, Queensland in April.
League founder and proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander man Patty Mills delivered a special message via Facebook ahead of the launch.
He started by congratulating everyone participating in IBA’s first year programs and said, “how much of an honour and privilege it is for me to be in a position where I can give back and know how much of an impact this can have on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities.”
The IBA has a clear mission, a promise to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths and provide them with the tools so they can be the best that they can be.
“IBA is founded on culture, culture is identity and all the values that make up culture is how you become proud of your identity” – “you don’t have to leave your identity at the door to achieve your dreams.”
Patty Mills speaking ahead of the official IBA/ICBL launch. (Facebook)
To learn more about the IBA, visit indigenousbasketballaustralia.com