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NBL trio head Indigenous All Stars lineup

NBL stalwarts Chris Patton, Deba George and Chris Cedar headline the Australian Indigenous All Stars for next month’s annual clash with the New Zealand Maori National Team across the Tasman.

Endeavouring to win the Trans-Tasman title for the fourth consecutive year, the Apunipima-sponsored Aussie All Stars have named arguably their best lineup so far, under coach Joel Khalu.

“Our staff are certainly excited about the blend of experience and youth we have in this year’s group,” Khalu said.

“We’ve got some veteran guys who have performed well on New Zealand courts during previous tours and combining their skill-sets with the talent of our up-and-coming younger players, gives us a solid foundation to build our Trans-Tasman title defence on.”

The national representative team features Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander basketball talent.

Centre/power forward Patton (above) played NBL with Melbourne United and Cairns Taipans, All Stars regular George also was a Taipan and Cedar wore the green of Townsville Crocodiles.

Completing the 12-man roster are State League standouts from across the country including Jakobe Hunter, Joel Matysek and Marshall Ware (Cairns Marlins), Tidjane Diop (Gold Coast Rollers) and William Hickey (Sydney Comets).

Victorian pair Dion Patten and Lachlan Edwards will make their national All Stars debuts, along with 200cm Western Australian rookie Johny Narkle. 16-year old Torres Strait Island phenomenon and NBA Global Academy scholarship athlete Tamuri Wigness.

The best-of-three championship will be played on New Zealand’s North Island at Hamilton and beautiful Tauranga.

“Winning a fourth straight campaign is the goal, but definitely won’t be an easy feat,” Khalu said.

“The New Zealand Maori side are big, athletic and play an extremely physical brand of hoops.

“We’ll need to match their level of toughness, particularly in the paint, if we want to be competitive.”

• Game #1 - Thursday, September 27 - Hamilton
• Game #2 - Friday, September 28 - Tauranga
• Game #3 - Saturday, September 29 - Tauranga

THE 2018 APUNIPIMA AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM (ALL STARS): Chris Cedar (Mackay, QLD), Chris Patton (Melbourne, VIC), Deba George (Albury, NSW), Dion Patten (Melbourne, VIC), JaKobe Hunter (Cairns, QLD), Joel Matysek (Cairns, QLD), Johny Narkle (Geraldton, WA), Lachlan Edwards (Geelong, VIC), Marshall Ware (Cairns, QLD), Tamuri Wigness (Canberra, ACT), Tidjane Diop (Gold Coast, QLD) William Hickey (Sydney, NSW). Head Coach: Joel Khalu Assistant Coaches: Jason Borg, Ricky Baldwin. Manager: Brent Khalu. Physio: Eddie Atkin.

CALLING THE SHOTS: Deba George leading the Australian Indigenous All Stars.

Aug 18

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