NBA star Patty Mills has unveiled an Indigenous Community Basketball League which he hopes will be a pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths.
A proud Torres Strait Islander, the three-time Olympian has set up a competition starting next month targeting under-14 players that will run across eight locations in Australia.
He hopes to expand into more age groups and more regions under the banner of Indigenous Basketball Australia (IBA), a not-for-profit organisation he founded.
The competition is aimed at bringing youngsters into the game while also providing a platform for aspiring players to progress into basketball leagues in Australia and across the world.
Mills, who grew up in Canberra, said it was his passion to provide opportunities for young Indigenous kids and give back to the game in Australia.
"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," the Boomers gun said in a statement.
"Our complementary programs throughout the competitions of IBA will support these kids and their communities in embracing their culture and unlocking one's full potential in an environment that is safe and free from any discrimination.
"We want to give them the best possible chance to succeed."
From February 7, Indigenous Community Basketball League (ICBL) tournaments for will be held in Perth, Darwin, Thursday Island, Alice Springs, Adelaide, Dubbo, Logan and Cairns.
Australian Associated Press