The Apunipima Australian Indigenous Basketball All Stars has announced its selection of a 10 player roster, for the 2017 World Indigenous Basketball Challenge (WIBC) that will be taking place in Canada from August 9 to 12.
The team, made up of Australia’s premier Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander basketball talent, will be embarking on their first-ever trip to the WIBC.
The All Stars will join fifteen other invited men’s sides in Vancouver, doing battle over four-days for the title as the world’s number one Indigenous basketball nation.
Headlining the All Stars will be former National Basketball League standout Tyson Demos, who will make his second appearance with the representative side. The 28-year old helped lead the team to victory in last year’s Trans-Tasman series against the Maori national team in New Zealand.
Demos will be joined by Torres Strait Islander livewire guard Curt Ah Wang. The 238-game, 13 season Queensland Basketball League veteran, recently won his fourth QBL title with the Cairns Marlins and will rejoin the Indigenous squad after last playing for the All Stars in 2014.
Also chosen for the team were Aaron Bin Tahal (Cairns), Denzel Kennedy (Cairns), Jarrod Hampton (Canberra), Marshall Ware (Cairns), Reece Craigie (Sydney), Tidjane Diop (Mackay), Verle Williams Jnr. (Brisbane) and Zachariah Bourne (Gold Coast).
“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 that have been identified can step up as needed.”
“All of the players picked have competed for the Australian Indigenous All Stars in TransTasman campaigns at some stage throughout the past three-years, so each are familiar with our style of play and what we want to achieve at both ends of the floor.”
“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 Apunipima Australian Indigenous Basketball All Stars have a two-day training camp in Brisbane on August 5 and 6, before departing for Vancouver on August 7.
The team’s first game of the WIBC will be on Wednesday, August 9.