The new NBL delivered a definite crowd pleaser today at Fitzroy Primary School, announcing Australian Boomer Patty Mills' participation in the NBL as its first official ambassador.
This news delivers a definite surge of positivity to the National Basketball League. Mills has been a long-time fan favourite, and his endorsement and willingness to represent the league puts things in a fresh new light, especially when his new role also involves building up the league's community participation program.
"I am excited to welcome Patty Mills to the NBL family. We have been talking with Patty while he has been home in Australia about his passion for giving back to the sport of basketball in Australia, the NBL, and specifically inspiring indigenous and multicultural kids all across Australia to achieve their goals through sport," NBL general manager, Jeremy Loeliger expressed his enthusiasm at having Patty on the team, and also made known the league's focus on community involvement and at the same time, strengthening basketball participation.
"The NBL is committed to developing a strong community program that will give kids in rural and remote communities, as well as those in the suburbs, an opportunity to participate in basketball and perhaps one day emulate Patty’s success."
Mills is definitely keen to develop a basketball program with his new role. It offers a way to give back to the community, especially for the indigenous populace, and offers the kids a chance to fulfill their basketball dreams.
"It is so important for me to come back to Australia and participate in encouraging indigenous kids to be the best they can be and help close the gap," he stated.
The NBA champion also talked about how his younger days with the Shadows in Canberra, gave him a chance to grow as a basketballer. "I first played basketball with the Shadows basketball club in Canberra – which was set up to enable Indigenous people to play basketball. It later expanded to become a multicultural basketball program and included players from all nationalities," he said.
Credit: Patty Mills
"Shadows gave me an opportunity first, to play basketball, and then the confidence to work towards my goals and achieve my full potential. It's this sort of community support network that I am passionate about building with the NBL, and continue the legacy of Shadows to help other indigenous kids around Australia get to the NBL, the NBA or just through school."
The guard pointed to his uncle, Danny Morseau as a pioneer who played for the Boomers in the 80s. In the current generation, Patty and teammate Nathan Jawai proudly wear the green and gold, along with Opal Rohanee Cox.
A great part of life is about having the right opportunity, and it is important to Mills that the younger generation get their shot at reaching their basketball dreams. As far as those aspirations go, Patty's newly minted status as NBL ambassador might just be a step in the right direction.