NBA Star Making a Difference for Indigenous Youth Both On and Off the Court


NBA Star Making a Difference for Indigenous Youth Both On and Off the Court

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NBA champion and four-time Olympian Patty Mills is harnessing his love for basketball to enhance the well-being of the upcoming generation of Indigenous players.

Indigenous Basketball Australia (IBA), a non-profit organization founded by Mills, his parents Uncle Benny, and Aunty Yvonne Mills, is dedicated to providing grassroots basketball initiatives and contributing to the community.

IBA has recently formed a partnership with the University of Queensland to expand opportunities in sports, education, and culture for Indigenous children and young individuals.

Benny Mills, the director of IBA and a proud Naghiralgal, Meriam, and Daureb man, emphasized that their programs distinguish themselves from conventional basketball and sports programs by centering around culture.

The entire environment we’ve cultivated with Indigenous Basketball Australia is one where young people can feel safe and free to be themselves,” Mr. Mills remarked. “When they step into the arena and see people who share their background, it brings smiles to their faces, which is truly unique.

Keane Wheeler, a proud Ngarabal man affiliated with UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, emphasized the importance of providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth with a diverse array of visible and highly influential role models.

Dr. Wheeler stated, A variety of successful figures will enable children and young people to better articulate how our community fits into the broader society and gain a deeper understanding of success in its many dimensions.

The partnership between IBA and UQ encompasses various programs centered on social and emotional well-being. Patty Mills expressed his enthusiasm for these additions to their offerings, noting, “This collaboration will empower us to extend our impact beyond the basketball court, encouraging our youth to embrace their heritage, unlock their full potential, and provide them with the greatest opportunities for success.


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