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NBL Indigenous Round: Celebrating Art and Culture Through Unique Jerseys

The National Basketball League (NBL) of Australia is once again gearing up for its annual Indigenous Round, a celebration of the rich art and culture of the Indigenous people of Australia and New Zealand. Since 2020, the NBL has been hosting Indigenous Rounds, collaborating with Indigenous artists to design jerseys that showcase the art and stories of various communities from different regions.

Let’s take a closer look at the striking jerseys for all 10 NBL teams, as well as a special jersey for the referees, and delve into the unique artistic inspirations behind each design:

ADELAIDE 36ers

The light blue lines connected by circles symbolize the River Torrens, which surrounds the stadium where the 36ers play. Faint yellow stars represent the championships the 36ers have won, and the little symbols surrounding the jersey numbers symbolize men. At the bottom of the jersey, a symbol for flowing water represents the coastline of South Australia. The circles on the back, behind the numbers, signify unity and support for the team.

BRISBANE BULLETS

This design centers around the team and its connection to the land. It features symbols representing players, community, and the landscapes of Brisbane. The top circles represent different communities of supporters and sponsors, while the serpent (or rainbow serpent) on the jersey symbolizes the creator of waterways, such as the Brisbane River.

CAIRNS TAIPANS

Based on an original painting by Dale “Malla” Oliver, this jersey illustrates the Taipans and their connection to the entire Cairns region.

ILLAWARRA HAWKS

The painting represents the Illawarra Hawks, with the hawk in the middle symbolizing the players. The artwork also reflects mother earth, the ocean, rivers, mountains, and Elders. The colors used in dots represent the different colored traditional ochres used in ceremonies and paintings.

MELBOURNE UNITED

This design represents the club’s purpose: to inspire, entertain, and enrich people’s lives. It pays homage to the club’s former Champions, players’ strength and resilience, and its journey towards reconciliation with First Nations people.

NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS

The design draws from the Maori cultural story of pounamu (greenstone) and its origins, featuring Poutini, the guardian of greenstone. Poutini’s role is to protect the spiritual essence of pounamu and its people.

PERTH WILDCATS

The word ‘Dandjoo’ on the neck means ‘togetherness,’ the central theme of the design. Circles represent the four decades of Wildcats history, while connecting lines symbolize song lines connecting various regions of Western Australia. The winding lines show the Wildcats’ journey to and from each game, and the dots are linked to the greater region’s art form.

SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX

This design includes Bunjil, the creator deity for the Kulin nation, and references kangaroo prints, which signify moving forward in a new direction with the appointment of a new coach.

SYDNEY KINGS

The artwork reflects the Sydney Kings’ mission statement: “To relentlessly raise the bar of Basketball in Australia, every day in every way.” It symbolizes ancestral grounds, legacy, and the stories of past and present players.

TASMANIA JACKJUMPERS

The patterns on the jersey represent shell middens, found throughout lutruwita (Tasmania) as evidence of hunting, gathering, and food processing. The nine circles symbolize the nine nations of lutruwita, highlighting the hidden history of these nations.

REFEREES

This design represents the Goodithulla’s (Eagle) connection to Gukoo Topsy and Country, with green and white symbolizing the connection to the land and a united family.

The NBL Indigenous Round jerseys beautifully merge the worlds of art, culture, and sport, celebrating the Indigenous people’s rich heritage and stories, while also fostering a sense of unity and togetherness. The NBL continues to honor the diversity and traditions of Australia and New Zealand’s First Nations communities, weaving their cultural tapestry into the fabric of basketball.

NICC = National Indigenous Cultural Centre – works with Walkabout Australia – we give you indigenous products, indigenous music, aboriginal art – news (we are your indigenous home… (IF you want bush tucker food at your next event / if you want indigenous entertainment at your party / expo / conference; if you want an indigenous gift shop / if you want walkabout australia merchandise = contact us… = https://nicc.org.au (AND = https://www.facebook.com/WalkaboutAustralia

IF you want some indigenous food at your event, expo, conference / party = do you want indigenous / aboriginal entertainment at your function – digeridoo, or indigenous dance, aboriginal gift shop OR = we can tailor a solution for your event (for a few hours or a few days / in a regional town of in the major conference centre. What indigenous food, music, fashion, gift shop – what aboriginal theme do you seek?…

Source: https://news.sportslogos.net/2023/10/26/australias-nbl-unveils-jerseys-for-annual-indigenous-round/basketball/

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