Australian basketballer Patty Mills first took up hoops as a four-year old when he joined a local Indigenous club. He has gone on to star for local and international teams and was instrumental in the success of the Australian Boomers during the recent Olympic Games. In Patty Mills: Beyond basketball BOTI NAGY shares the inside story.
FIVE THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW
1. He is the first Indigenous player to captain an Australian men’s basketball team at the Olympics, achieved in Tokyo 2021 where he was also the first Indigenous flag bearer for Australia at an Opening Ceremony.
2. His mother Yvonne Mills (nee Haynes) was part of the Stolen Generation.
3. Eddie Mabo, whose quest for Indigenous equality led to the historic adoption of ‘native title’ into Australian law, is Patty’s great uncle on his father Benny’s side.
4. He scored 42 points in the Tokyo Olympic Games’ bronze medal playoff win, the most points scored by any player in an Olympic medal playoff match since basketball was admitted to the Games in 1936.
5. After scoring 14 points in the third quarter of a game for San Antonio Spurs to clinch the best-of-seven NBA championship in 2014, Mills required shoulder surgery for an injury so severe, rehabilitation took seven months. •