Australian Story

Australian Story

Shooting For The Stars
ABC  |  June 26, 2017
Classification: Not Classified Classification: Not Classified
This video has closed captioning

When Mayor Chagai was six years old he fled civil war in South Sudan, becoming one of Africa's "lost boys". In 2006 he came to Australia as a refugee, 19 years old and penniless. A decade later he is a community leader in western Sydney, drawing on his love of basketball to change the lives of young Sudanese men. Thursday nights in Blacktown used to be called "fight night" as young men from different ethnic groups clashed but Mayor realised sport could heal the trauma of war and keep wayward Sudanese youth out of trouble. He started a basketball program that is turning out the champions of tomorrow. American coaches regularly attend tournaments here to scout for talent and 14 of Mayor's players have been recruited to the US. But just as Mayor's efforts achieve international recognition, family responsibilities weigh heavily and without funding he fears he may have to abandon his program.

When Mayor Chagai was six years old he fled civil war in South Sudan, becoming one of Africa's "lost boys". In 2006 he came to Australia as a refugee, 19 years old and penniless. A decade later he is a community leader in western Sydney, drawing on his love of basketball to change the lives of young Sudanese men. Thursday nights in Blacktown used to be called "fight night" as young men from different ethnic groups clashed but Mayor realised sport could heal the trauma of war and keep wayward Sudanese youth out of trouble. He started a basketball program that is turning out the champions of tomorrow. American coaches regularly attend tournaments here to scout for talent and 14 of Mayor's players have been recruited to the US. But just as Mayor's efforts achieve international recognition, family responsibilities weigh heavily and without funding he fears he may have to abandon his program.

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