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Indigenous best bound for Canada


 STAND-OUT NBL guard Tyson Demos headlines the Apunipima Australian Indigenous All Stars’ 10-man team for the 2017 World Indigenous Basketball Challenge (WIBC) in Canada from August 9 to 12.

The Aussie Indigenous All Stars – comprised of Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander basketball players - will compete in a field of 16 teams in its historic first WIBC championship.

“We’re excited about this talented group of players and their potential to do very well in Canada,” Apunipima All Stars head coach Joel Khalu said.

“We’re missing a couple of our regular faces, guys like Deba George and the Cedar brothers
(Chris and Michael), who due to their Australian domestic playing commitments were unavailable.

“However we’re confident the players identified can step up as needed.”

Demos, 28, and an NBL regular with Illawarra and Gold Coast, led the team to victory in last year’s Trans-Tasman series against the Maori national team in New Zealand.

He will be joined by Torres Strait Islander livewire guard Curt Ah Wang, a 238-game, 13-season Queensland Basketball League veteran.

Ah Wang recently won his fourth QBL title with Cairns Marlins and returns to the Indigenous team after last playing for it in 2014.

Additionally heading to Canada are Aaron Bin Tahal (Cairns), Denzel Kennedy (Cairns), Jarrod
Hampton (Canberra), Marshall Ware (Cairns), Reece Craigie (Sydney), Tidjane Diop (Mackay),
Verle Williams Jr (Brisbane) and Zachariah Bourne (Gold Coast).

“All of the players picked have competed for the Australian Indigenous All Stars in Trans-Tasman campaigns at some stage throughout the past three-years, so each is familiar with
our style of play and what we want to achieve at both ends of the floor,” Khalu said.

“Winning the WIBC is going to be a massive challenge but we’re looking forward to getting over to Vancouver in August and giving it our absolute best crack.”

The team has a two-day training camp scheduled for August 5-6 in Brisbane before heading to Vancouver on August 7, with its opening WIBC match on Wednesday, August 9.

Jun 16

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