NBL1 General Manager Dean Anglin says 4% of the league’s athletes identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders, and many more play basketball across Australia.
“We want to show these athletes that we care about their culture, we care about them and there is a pathway in place to help them succeed in the sport,” he says.
Bendigo Braves and Spirit guard Cassidy McLean is one of the 96 NBL1 players who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
A proud representative of the Wiradjuri mob in South West Nyngan, New South Wales, she says the First Nations round is a vital celebration of Indigenous culture. “Without my ancestors, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, or where I am today,” she tells The Pick and Roll. “The more we highlight the importance of First Nations round, the more (the) little girls and boys will feel accepted and included within the sport.”