Basketball champ joins the team at Banksia Hill

Media release
Former Perth Wildcats vice-captain Greg Hire is bringing his highly successful basketball clinics and mental health workshops to the young people at Banksia Hill Detention Centre.
Last updated: 23 May 2023
Greg Hire and former teammate Devondrick Walker at Banksia Hill Detention Centre

Greg Hire and former teammate Devondrick Walker at Banksia Hill Detention Centre

Since founding the charity ‘A Stitch In Time’ in 2014, Hire has provided mental health and mentoring programs across Western Australia, with a particular passion for helping indigenous children in remote communities.

Now, the retired four-time National Basketball League (NBL) champion is stepping onto the Banksia Hill basketball court, passing on words of wisdom and encouragement to detainees.

“The power of sport allows us to engage with the young people in here,” Hire said. “Sport is inclusive, it eliminates all boundaries… so if I can impact their lives and make some difference then it’s an absolute no brainer to be involved.”

External programs at Banksia Hill, including this one, are about to resume following a major disturbance at the facility earlier this month.

Hire has spoken publicly about his troubled upbringing which included exposure to domestic violence, drug use and a lack of positive role models. Sport was his salvation.

“Basketball can teach you a lot more than just putting a ball through the hoop. It’s about effective communication, working together, resilience.

“(The detainees) don’t really care that I’m a Perth Wildcats player. They just love that I show them respect.”

Corrective Services Commissioner Mike Reynolds has welcomed Hire’s involvement.

“Greg Hire is an outstanding West Australian”, Commissioner Reynolds said. “We’re delighted to have someone of his calibre mentoring the young people at Banksia Hill.

“Greg provides life lessons that I’m sure many of the young people will carry with them forever.”

The ‘A Stitch in Time’ program is one of many offered at Banksia Hill addressing detainees’ health, rehabilitative, recreational and cultural needs.

In addition to traditional education classes, young people are provided special music and sport programs, as well as vocational courses such as barista skills, carpentry, painting and plumbing, emergency services courses, Australian Army cadet instruction and Aboriginal language learning.

Hire, a father of two and former WA Young Person of the Year, said he was impressed by the opportunities being provided at Banksia Hill.

“Negativity is easy to promote. For me, it’s about promoting that there is some good work being done here, there’s some incredible staff who work exceptionally hard and I consistently promote that to remind people that there is actually plenty of good things happening in here.”

Greg Hire with Nathan, Nat and Shaun on Nova 937

Listen to Greg Hire with Nathan, Nat and Shaun on Nova 937.