NBA star Patty Mills will bring opportunity to Dubbo in the form of a new Indigenous Basketball League.
In a major boost for Indigenous basketball, Mills' not-for-profit entity Indigenous Basketball Australia will run the ICBL in eight locations across Australia starting on February 7.
The league will be aimed at under-14s and will be run on Thursday Island, plus in Cairns, Brisbane, Dubbo, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Darwin and Perth.
"To continue my efforts as a leader for my people and to follow my family's legacy of providing legitimate opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through my sport of basketball is the true outcome of my personal success and accomplishments," Mills said.
"What we will do with the IBA programs and competitions has never been done before and is the first-of-its-kind in this country's sporting environment. It's game-changing and we're creating history.
"As a starting point, we will begin with the age group of under-14. The early adolescence years are crucial for a child's cognitive, emotional and social development.
"Our complementary programs throughout the competitions of IBA will support these kids and their communities in embracing their culture and unlocking one's full potential in an environment that is safe and free from any discrimination.
"We want to give them the best possible chance to succeed.
Each player competing in the ICBL will be vying for selection in their state side ahead of next year's National Indigenous Basketball Tournament.
Weekly competitions will be interspersed with motivational sessions where role models will share their stories with the aspiring young basketballers.
Cairns Taipans star Nathan Jawai said the ICBL would provide a huge opportunity for young Indigenous children.
"The IBA model will see young players supported in a positive and safe environment to fulfil their dreams, equipping them with invaluable tools, skills and experience to flourish and succeed," Jawai said.
"I strongly encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths to sign up today to participate in the Indigenous Community Basketball League and the innovative IBA programs.
"Personally, I am looking forward to seeing the talent of tomorrow emerge and sharing the same court as them one day."
Youths interested in being involved can apply online at https://indigenousbasketballaustralia.com/