NBL legend returns ‘home’ to inspire
Cal Bruton is often hailed as a legend of Australian basketball, but his recent trip to his “second home” Broome was about more than just slam dunks and trick shots.
The NBL championship player and coach visited the Kimberley town for the sixth time last week to use basketball as an engagement tool to inspire future workers to put the effort in and chase their dreams.
Bruton met with trainees from Sheffield Resources’ Thunderbird Construction Work Ready Program, comprising recruits from the Nirrumbuk and Winun Ngari corporations.
His message was simple — if he can make it, anyone can.
The 63-year-old never had it easy.
He lost his father at age seven and had an alcoholic mother and intellectually handicapped sister.
Bruton focused his effort on sport, eventually excelling in basketball, and moved from New York to Australia, where he would become one of the first inductees into the NBL Hall of Fame in 1998.
Now involved in the AFL SportsReady and Charity Bounce programs, Bruton told Broome Advertiser he was happy to be in a position where he could use his life experiences to inspire.
“I believe that as long as you’re prepared to put in the effort, anyone can make it and achieve their goals,” he said. “I love coming up to Broome and the Kimberley, it is truly paradise here, but I’m glad I could come here to inspire.”
After meeting with the trainees in a “classroom setting” at Nirrumbuk, Bruton took them to the basketball courts at Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre to teach some skills and drills.
Sheffield Resources senior community adviser Justin King said Bruton inspired and motivated the participants to understand their potential as an individual.
“We are very appreciative of Cal’s involvement and support,” he said. “His messages of respect, resilience, commitment, team work, caring for others, communication, reliability and health are values that are aligned with Sheffield Resources.”
The NBL legend also met with inmates at Broome Regional Prison, visited the Drop In Centre and hosted a Broome Basketball Association clinic for players and coaches.
Bruton said there was a lot of “untapped” Kimberley talent.
“A lot of these kids have the natural skills and ability but don’t know how to apply it to how the game is played these days,” he said.
“With proper coaching and training, no doubt these kids can make it.”
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails