• The first time event is aimed at exposing new First Nations talent in the sport. (Facebook: Australian Indigenous Basketball )Source: Facebook: Australian Indigenous Basketball
A first time basketball tournament set to be held in north Queensland this week will showcase the talents of men and women across all age groups.
Brooke Fryer

9 Dec 2019 - 9:40 AM  UPDATED 9 Dec 2019 - 9:40 AM

Torres Strait Islander man from Moa Island, Marshall Ware, is just one of the hundreds of people preparing to participate in an inaugural Indigenous basketball tournament this week in Cairns.

Mr Ware has been playing basketball since the age of 12-years-old and said that the tournament, hosted by Australian Indigenous Basketball (AIB), was all about coming together in a positive environment. 

"When you get us mob together, I think it's a good chance for Indigenous players to showcase our talents and to play for your brothers, family and culture, and you realise it becomes much bigger than a basketball game," he said. 

He also said the tournament is a good way to showcase new skills and is a great way to work towards playing for the official AIB team. 

"I think it should be a little goal for them (players) to try and make their way to the AIB team and this is a good way to showcase what they got," he said. 

Mr Ware said AIB has given him some of his greatest memories. 

"Its taken me to places like NZ and Canada and each time it has been unbelievable," he said. 

Mr Ware will be playing with the Cairns Black Marlins team and said he thinks they have a pretty good shot at taking out the winning title. 

"I'm super excited and I know it's gonna be a fast past week... I think there's a great shot at getting this," he said. 

The first time event is aimed at exposing new First Nations talent in the sport and to provide an opportunity for both male and female players from across all age groups to showcase their skills.

The AIB chief executive officer and tournament director, Joel Khalu,  said they originally aimed to have forty teams register.

“To have sixty teams nominate from all over Australia, [it] certainly reinforces the want and the need of this tournament,” Mr Khalu said.

“We’ve got players from all corners set for the journey to Cairns. For many junior players who’ll be participating from remote communities, it will be their first opportunity to play basketball in an indoor stadium.”

The event, supported by Queensland Government and Cairns Regional Council, will run over five days from under 14s and 17s to senior divisions will all matches played at the Cairns Basketball Early Settler Stadium.

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