18/04/2024
Patty Mills flag-bearer

Patty Mills will be Australia's flag-bearer at the Tokyo opening ceremony. Photo: olympics.com.au

Patty Mills has become the first Indigenous Australian to carry the flag at the Olympic Games opening ceremony.

Four-time basketball Olympian Patty Mills has become the first Indigenous Australian to carry the flag at this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games opening ceremony.

This is only the second time in Australian history that the country will have two Olympians sharing the honour. Four-time Olympian Cate Campbell has been announced as Australia’s female flag-bearer.

Mills becomes the third basketballer to be a flag-bearer, joining Andrew Gaze (2000) and Lauren Jackson (2012).

The champion basketballer began playing for Australia’s men’s basketball team in 2007. Only a year later, he was selected for his first Olympics Games in Beijing 2008.

At Beijing, he averaged 14.2 points per game and lead the scoring tally for Australia, and scored 85 points across the six games played.

Mills represented Australia in London four years later in 2012. In his six games played, he averaged 21.2 points per game and scored 127 for the entire Olympics.

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At Rio in 2016, Mills was successful in selection and in the seven games played, averaged 21.3 points, and scored 149 points overall.

He was again the leading scorer for the Boomers and was one of the best performers in the bronze-medal match against Spain. Unfortunately for the Boomers, they fell short by one point in what was the basketball teams best Olympic performance.

Currently, Mills plays for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA and was a part of the 2014 championship side.

He was drafted with pick 55 to the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2009 NBA draft. He was on its list for two seasons, from 2009-2011, before moving on to the Spurs.

Mills said following the announcement that it’s a privilege that’s hard to wrap his head around.

“It’s such an honour and massive privilege for me as a proud Kokatha, Naghiralgal and Dauareb-Meriam man,” Mills said.

“This is really special, I’m just thankful for all the support up to this moment.

“It’s something I cannot put into words.”

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