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NBL launches Reconciliation Action Plan to strengthen Indigenous pathways

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LaMelo Ball breaks down his passing skills (1:51)

LaMelo Ball sits down with NBA draft analyst Mike Schmitz to dish on some of his best assists so far in the NBL. (1:51)

The NBL remains committed to strengthening pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, today launching the league's inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan [RAP].

As part of the initiative, the NBL will be increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander player recruitment as well as establishing talent identification pathways. The league will also fund 50 percent of the minimum salary for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players engaged by NBL Clubs as Development Players.

In addition, the NBL will assist each participating club in identifying local support networks which can act as an additional point of contact for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players and staff members who may require local support.

The RAP was developed by the NBL's Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, which is co-chaired by Indigenous Affairs Advisor at the Essendon Football Club, Leanne Brooke, and NBL Commissioner, Jeremy Loeliger.

"As a proud Gunditjmara woman, I have been pleased to be part of the NBL's Reconciliation journey," Brooke said. "This RAP is a very important step in that journey.

"With this RAP, the NBL is committed to doing more to acknowledge the contributions made by Indigenous communities, not just in the game of basketball but to our broader culture and society and develop pathways and opportunities for Indigenous people in basketball."

NBL owner Larry Kestelman echoed the sentiments, saying it is a significant step for Australian basketball.

"As a leading sporting and community organisation, the NBL is committed to using its influence and profile to further advance the process of reconciliation and national unity," he said. "Reconciliation is about strengthening meaningful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples and where first nations people are respected, celebrated and championed.

"We are committed to recognising and advancing the specific contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have made to the development and success of Australian basketball.

"Basketball is one of the most culturally diverse and inclusive sports in Australia and the second most participated team sport. As Australia's premier basketball league, the NBL's aim is to unite our varied and vast basketball communities."

The announcement comes in NAIDOC week where Indigenous culture and history is celebrated.