National Indigenous Basketball Championships hit Cairns

National Indigenous Basketball Championships hit Cairns

The major highlight of the National Indigenous Basketball calendar hits Cairns next week.

Cairns Basketball will play host to the 2009 National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Basketball Association National Championships.  The Championships tip-off on Monday, September 21 and will finish with Grand Finals on Friday, September 25.

It is the 4th annual event of this kind and the first time that it has been held in any QLD venue.

Almost 50-teams from around the country will converge at the Bendigo Bank Basketball Centre (Fish Tank) and over the five days will compete for the crown as National Champions in the under 16, under 18 & open men & women divisions.  The event starts with the official opening ceremony on Monday, September 21 at 9:15am

Cairns has a strong participating contingent with representative Marlins teams playing in the Under 16 & Under 18 boys divisions and the Dolphins competing in the U16 girls division.

In the open men’s division, Cairns Marlins ABA players Deba George & Curt Ahwang will compete for the Cairns Dream while guard Jacob Pilot will be suiting up with the Torres Strait Islander Thunder side.  The men’s division is set to be hotly contested with the talented Brisbane Hunters, Melbourne Eagles & Perth Hornets teams all making the trek to Cairns and their squads feature a number of former and current high-level ABA players.

The women’s open division will see the return of former WNBL player Naomi Pedro who missed the ABA season this year after giving birth to her first Child.  Pedro will join the Cairns Dream women’s team who are considered a tournament favourite in the women’s division along with the Victoria Eagles.

The annual tournament is expected to bring close to 1000 visitors to Cairns and Hoop Dreaming Project Director Joel Khalu said it was great for the city to be the host this year’s event.

“The Indigenous Basketball Nationals is definitely something that we have wanted to host at Cairns Basketball since its inception,” Khalu said. 

“Having the tournament in our backyard gives us an opportunity to show the country just how talented our Indigenous Basketball players are and hopefully it opens up some doors for those players hoping to continue with the game.”

“It’s definitely going to be a big week of some great, high-level basketball action,” Khalu added.

Games tip-off each day from 10:00am and the event is free of charge and open to all spectators.  The highlight of the week includes a 3-point shootout and Slam Dunk Competition on Wednesday night which starts from 6pm.

Story courtesy of Cairns Taipans