Indigenous youngsters star on the national stage as WA make two grand finals
Three top Indigenous basketball prospects enjoyed strong results at the National Indigenous Basketball Tournament held on the Gold Coast as WA came away with gold and silver in the girl’s and boy’s championships.
Founded by Indigenous NBA star Patty Mills, the tournament was about more than just medals with it providing an opportunity to celebrate Indigenous cultures and for competitors to represent their people.
“Your past must connect with your present to create your future,” Mills was quoted as saying in cards handed out to players.
“It’s about identity, it’s about being proud of who you are and being passionate enough to express that.”
Trevor Farrell, Noah Bayley (Bennett) and Sharntay Westberg were all picked up from the local Geraldton Basketball Association after surviving multiple cuts in the rigorous eight-week screening and training program.
However, it appears that training paid off as WA enjoyed a stellar tournament making both grand finals and claiming gold in the women’s final on April 15.
The girls just squeaked into the grand final thanks to a one-point 41-40 victory over Queensland South but in the final there was no need for nerves as they dominated NSW 50-34.
Westberg returns with a gold medal, adding it to her grand final and MVP medals earned for Stateside.
Bayley and Farrell will also return with medals after terrific performances to help the side get into the grand final but the team was ultimately outclassed 42-25 by Victoria to finish runner-up.
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