Our mission is to enrich the lives of Aboriginal basketball student athletes, by providing life development skills and opportunities to further their education through the game of basketball. It is our goal to assist Aboriginal student in becoming valuable and valued contributors to their communities by enrolling and participating in our programs.



ABA was established by a group of former basketball athletes, who in realizing their own experiences and the efforts of others in realising their dreams are excited and committed in helping to develop the next group of potential stars in Aboriginal communities.

The group brings a broad range of basketball and life experiences as well as a wealth of intellectual capital. All members have participated in playing basketball at the national level and /or professional level, as well as possessing a number of educational degrees. This further confirms the Academies purpose and its belief in achieving in both athletics and academics.

ABA is committed to the development of Aboriginal student athletes. We have a wide range of networks and a comprehensive list of resources and supports. These resources and supports have help to build the infrastructure that support development initiatives, basketball scholarships to institutions of higher learning and support mechanisms for student athletes during their academic years away from home.



As ABA grows, we envisage expanding our vision of development for Aboriginal student athletes, to embrace other student athletes from other regions of Australia. Our long-term strategic goals are inclusive of making South Australia the central hub for basketball and work / life skills development in Australia. We believe this can be achieved through the vision of expanding this Academy across SA.

More specifically, the Academy will provide a vehicle:

  • for sporting participants in South Australia to gain access to programs that develop their ability by delivering high quality coaching, competition opportunities and expert advice
  • to offer programs and pathways that have a strategic alignment with the formal talent development pathways of the peak state sporting organisations
  • to contribute to higher levels of participation and improved standards of competition in the region
  • to address the current under representation of the region in sport at state and national level while promoting general sports participation at grass roots in schools and community sports associations
  • to offer significant opportunities for volunteer training and mentoring support
  • students to complete year 12 and progress into further tertiary study or meaningful employment

It is envisaged that the Academy will provide a focus for the development of athletes in the Adelaide CBD. ABA participants will acquire key skills such as goal setting, motivation, team work, and social skills, which will be valuable as these young people develop their careers and move forward in life.


ABA offers the opportunity for students to develop their basketball abilities while helping to shape their character and better prepare them for life after basketball.

The program targets students that meet the following criteria;

  • CBD students studying year 11 or year 12
  • Are eager to learn the game of Basketball
  • Committed to educational opportunities.
  • Must enjoy Structured basketball drills facilitated by qualified coaches and former professional basketball players\
  • Cardiovascular training
  • Motivational presentations
  • Workshops on the importance of Education
  • Understanding the importance of teamwork and Leadership
  • Students committed to learning


The basketball environment in Aboriginal communities in Australia is filled with raw talent that demonstrates the passion and desire to improve their basketball intelligence while advancing their academic development.

Basketball development in Aboriginal communities is very much disadvantaged, largely in part due to the limited knowledge of the game and the technical and tactical side of the game of basketball. Because of this, Aboriginal communities are behind in the current methodology used and needed in teaching the game, putting us at a disadvantage to effectively compete globally. In addition, limited facilities and the high associated expenses to rent facilities, present a challenge in furthering the development of local student athletes.

The commitment from us to secure resources locally and overseas and distribute them during the camps has made a significant impact on recipients. In addition, it creates an overwhelming level of enthusiasm and anticipation each year for the camp. This we believe helps to sustain interest in the sport of basketball in South Australia and gives hope to many who want to further their development academically.

To date Paul Vandenbergh is the only Aboriginal basketball player from South Australia to play professionally and in the National Basketball League of Australia from 1998-2001. He played over 300 ABL games in the South Australian Basketball League and is the 4th Aboriginal player to play professionally in Australia. We believe there is a real need to develop Aboriginal kids into Basketball, and create opportunities and pathways for them to have the right supports and structure in place for them to maximise their potential.

 Just like the game of Australian Rules Football (AFL), we believe given the right environment and supports, Aboriginal people and communities will excel in Basketball and provide other young Aboriginal people the role modelling needed to choose basketball as their preferred sport.