Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL) are hosting their inaugural Indigenous Round this week, with players sporting Indigenous jerseys by local Aboriginal artists.
With games already underway as of Wednesday and finishing up on Sunday, a Welcome to Country will be delivered before all games during the round.
The NBL is also welcoming members of the Indigenous community to attend games.
The jerseys will be up for sale with proceeds going towards the development of young Indigenous players, to help pave pathways for male and female young Indigenous basketball players pursue their basketball dreams.
Melbourne United hosted the first game of the Indigenous Round against Perth Wildcats, with the Victorian team taking out a 77-67 win against the WA side.
It’s a big weekend ahead as the New Zealand Breakers take on the Adelaide 36ers on Friday evening and the Cairns Taipans play the Illawara Hawks Friday night.
After their win, Melbourne United are set to play the Brisbane Bullets on Saturday evening while the Perth Wildcats try redeem themselves against the Sydney Kings at home in Perth.
Sunday’s games will include matches between the Illawarra Hawks and the New Zealand Breakers, and the Adelaide 36ers and S.E. Melbourne Phoenix.
As news of legendary basketballer Kobe Bryant’s tragic death reverberates around the world, there’s no doubt the games will be played with extra fury and commitment over the weekend.
NBL Commissioner, Jeremy Loeliger, has previously highlighted that the NBL needed to pay tribute to “the many others who’ve made such a huge contribution to the game here and around the world”.
“It’s important we recognise these key Indigenous figures in a meaningful and impactful way, while also acknowledging the contribution wider Indigenous communities have made to the game,” Loeliger said.
By Sharnae Watson