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AIB history with Hawks showdown

IT'S a massive week coming up for the Australian Indigenous Basketball's All Stars, with more ground-breaking to come next month in their historic first-ever match against an NBL team.

AIB President and star guard Tyson Demos should feel right at home when his team takes on the might of the NBL's Illawarra Hawks at the Snakepit on Saturday, September 7 in the first "Preseason Indigenous Challenge".

Demos played NBL for the Hawks, as well as the Gold Coast Blaze.

Game night sponsor, the Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service, has come to the party to make the milestone NBL-AIB event possible.

The "firsts" for the AIB start on Tuesday when both their men's and women's All Stars take on the Kingdom of Hawai'i at the State Basketball Centre at Knox in the historic inaugural Indigenous international match staged in Melbourne.

That event also will include an Australian Indigenous Basketball "Legends" ceremony featuring Indigenous icons who have represented Australia as players, referees or team officials at an Olympic Games and/or FIBA World Cup.

Names such as Michael Ahmatt, Rohanee Cox and Danny Morseu are sure to be acknowledged, with a host of other international achievers.

Then on Thursday at Marvel Stadium, the AIB and Kingdom of Hawai'i will provide the curtain-raiser to the Boomers-USA blockbuster, but not just with on-court action but also traditional song and dance.

Yesterday, the recent achievements of the Apunipima Australian Indigenous Basketball All Stars was celebrated at Parliament House in Melbourne (below).

The men's and women's national teams competed at the 2019 International Indigenous and Cultural Basketball Tournament in New Zealand, with the women securing the Gold Medal and the men bringing home the Silver.

The women had a glorious and thoroughly thrilling win in the Gold Medal game over Kingdom of Hawai'i - next week's opponent - finally winning 91-90 in a double-overtime epic.

Perhaps a preseason game against a WNBL club might be on the cards for our Gold Medallists soon too.

In the meantime, if former Boomers centre and NBA "big" Nathan Jawaii - recently re-signed by the Cairns Taipans - is released to play for AIB against Illawarra, that is sure to add further interest to the milestone match. 

Aug 16

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