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Aboriginal Basketball Academy Teams Up with Basketball Australia

The Aboriginal Basketball Academy (ABA) and Basketball Australia (BA) have recently signed a momentous Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), solidifying their commitment to providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with access to basketball pathways and leadership opportunities. The initiative, launched in Adelaide, is an integral part of BA's national women and girls' platform, She Hoops, which aims to bridge the gender gap and ensure equal access to facilities and resources for all girls to realize their full potential.

Leading the charge was four-time Olympian and Head of Women in Basketball at BA, Lauren Jackson AO OLY, who guided the students through on-court drills and a leadership session. Jackson expressed her excitement, saying, "This is so exciting for She Hoops and the ABA as together we can provide incredible programs to these girls to ensure they have a pathway that incorporates education and basketball. We always say that 'you can't be what you can't see,' so having the opportunity to come out into the community and showcase what I've learned and help these young athletes is an absolute privilege."

Scott Whitmore, Founding Board Member of the ABA, also emphasized the positive impact of the partnership on the students. He explained, "The ABA was established in 2017, and it's a school retention program primarily for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in years 10-12. They study in the morning and play basketball in the afternoon. Our aim is to enhance their understanding and knowledge of their Aboriginal culture and support them in continuing their education until year 12. The partnership with Basketball Australia is invaluable as it allows us to access programs such as She Hoops and tap into the talent of individuals like Lauren Jackson, Annie La Fleur, and Ally Wilson. Improving pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids is crucial to us, and we are thrilled to partner with BA."

Olympian and World Cup Opal, Annie La Fleur OLY, joined Jackson on the court to deliver a session to the girls and commended the initiative. "She Hoops is such an important program to ensure that these young people have access to the facilities and resources to help them become great leaders and advocates of their heritage," La Fleur shared. She further revealed that two youth leaders from the ABA will have the opportunity to participate in FIBA's Youth Leaders Workshop in Auckland in September as part of the She Hoops Indigenous program.

The She Hoops leadership program, which kicked off recently, will be conducted over the next four months by She Hoops Ambassador Ally Wilson. Wilson, an Indigenous athlete who recently claimed a bronze medal for Australia in the FIBA 3x3 Championship and plays for the Bendigo Spirit in the WNBL, brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to empower and inspire the participating students.

Read the full article here.

Photo Courtesy Basketball Australia

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