“There are great things ahead for Indigenous basketball in this country,” Ricky Baldwin couldn’t help himself beaming, when speaking with The Pick and Roll.
He is one of the most passionate individuals you will ever meet. His roots run through his Indigenous heritage and basketball in turn, is entrenched within that.
“Our youth and children need our MOB to lead, to teach with rigour and mentor with passion and compassion.”
Baldwin has played the game for many years and achieved milestones, which included winning a National SEABL championship in 1991 as well as being selected in the team of the decade. From this, he has also experienced a successful coaching career in Victoria.
For him there is a huge reason he strives to use basketball for good in motivating and getting his indigenous community involved in the great sport.
“For me personally it means a great deal as I can respect and give back to my people through basketball. Especially when my beautiful mum and her brothers and sisters survived an unforgettable dark chapter in this country’s history – the Stolen Generation.”
This Sunday, he will be coaching a group of talented indigenous men who make up the Apunipima Indigenous All-Stars when they clash with the Logan Thunder at Cornubia.
“Each player in this team owes it to future generations to show how basketball can help break down barriers.
“These indigenous athletes are very talented and gifted. Having the chance to showcase their skills in front of the young Indigenous kids and their families will inspire them, knowing if they work hard they can achieve great things in their lives.”
He goes on to talk about the event that’s coming up this weekend.
“This Sunday’s event will be a true celebration of culture game, which means a lot to the players selected to represent the Australian National Indigenous All-Stars. To wear this uniform is very special along with knowing you are a role model for all the young Indigenous kids Australia-wide. Sports is a great door opener – it unites people.”
Under 18s get free entry. Tickets for $5 with all profits going to Beyond Blue and the great work they do for mental health.
The importance of this event is many layered and if you ask Baldwin, it is pure and simple.
“The burning desire within me to give back to the Indigenous community will always be there. There must always be hope. Hope that will inspire and drive us into real action that changes lives.
“We must remember that effort equals outcome.”
6pm, 23 September 2018