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Historic Indigenous milestone in Melbourne

MELBOURNE will stage its historic first international Indigenous matches next Tuesday at Knox when the Australian Indigenous All Stars men's and women's team host Kingdom of Hawai'i at State Basketball Centre.

The national outfits also will tip off again on Thursday at Marvel Stadium as curtain-raiser to the first Boomers-USA match, but that will be in an abbreviated form.

It's the real deal at the SBC, fully supported by Knox Basketball, with additional cultural entertainment including traditional Indigenous song and dance performances.

But wait, there's more.

The women's match tips off at 6pm, with the men at 8. But then at 9.30pm, First Nation greats of the game will be recognised in an Australian Indigenous Basketball "Legends Ceremony."

This will include Indigenous icons who have represented Australia as players, referees or team officials at an Olympic Games and/or FIBA World Cup.

Knox Raiders SEABL great and coach of the Australian Indigenous women’s team, Ricky Baldwin, was particularly proud his local community at Knox was staging this milestone event.

“Having the state’s first international Indigenous games and the AIB Legends Ceremony hosted in Knox is something special,” he said.

“We really hope the community gets behind both Indigenous nations and packs out SBC because the talent levels on display in both games is going to be awesome.

WISE MEN: AIB women’s coach Ricky Baldwin (left), KBI commercial sales manager Julian Cosgrave (middle) and AIB President Tyson Demos excited about Tuesday's milestone matches.

“The last time our Australian Indigenous women’s team faced the Kingdom of Hawai’i was in New Zealand back in March and that game went down to the wire - a double-overtime thriller.

“Our girls got the win, and being the championship game of that particular tournament, the victory also secured the gold medal.

“Hawai’i will certainly want to avenge that loss, so we’re anticipating another close contest.”

SBC officials could not be happier this historic event will play out at Knox.

“Knox Basketball are very proud to be associated with these games, the AIB Legends Ceremony and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through sport,” Knox Basketball commercial sales manager Julian Cosgrave said.

Tickets will be available at the door.

Aug 14

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