In a powerful display of unity and respect, the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) have joined forces for the annual Indigenous Round. This significant collaboration has taken on greater importance in light of the recent referendum vote on the Voice to Parliament, which saw a divided response across the nation.
The Indigenous Round serves as a platform to acknowledge and reaffirm the commitment to First Nations people. Players from both the men’s and women’s leagues will wear striking themed jerseys, symbolizing their support for this cause. Furthermore, the athletes will engage with Indigenous communities, schools, and cultural centers to strengthen these vital connections.
NBL's Chief Executive, David Stevenson, expressed the league's dedication to this important initiative. He emphasized the round's potential to share inspiring stories of players, officials, and referees who contribute to the sport. Stevenson noted that despite the challenges and division faced recently, it is a time to recommit to the cause.
The NBL, known for providing opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, offers salary cap exemptions for fully-rostered players and contributes to the funding of development player contracts. The WNBL's season commences with Indigenous Round, a partnership with Treaty for Victoria. This collaboration highlights the significance of the Treaty in ensuring the respect and celebration of languages and cultures for all.
The participation of First Nations players in Australia’s elite basketball leagues, such as Keanu Pinder and Leilani Mitchell, showcases the diversity and talent within the sport and serves as a source of inspiration for future generations. First Nations players in Australia’s elite basketball leagues
NBL: Keanu Pinder (Perth), Will McDowell-White (NZ), Will Hickey (Illawarra), Biwali Bayles (Illawarra), Kian Dennis (Cairns)
WNBL: Leilani Mitchell (Southside), Ally Wilson (Bendigo), Jess McDowell-White (Townsville), Shaneice Swain (Sydney), Neseya Parker Williams (Sydney), Indiah Bowyer (Townsville), Abby Cubillo (Adelaide)
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Courtesy Nationwide News