At 33 years of age, Canberra’s Patrick Mills has taken out what many believe to be the highest honour in Australian sport, ‘The Don’ award at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Awards.
Named in recognition of Sir Donald Bradman, the award honours a current Australian athlete or team who have most inspired the nation by their achievements and example in the last 12 months.
Mills’ recognition follows his inspiring performance at this years Olympic Games. In addition to being Flag Bearer, he led the Australian Boomers to their first-ever medal.
Mills was the second-highest points scorer for the tournament, which featured a historic 42-point 9-assist performance in the Bronze Medal match. He has taken his Olympic form with him to the NBA, where he is experiencing arguably a career-best season with his new team, the Brooklyn Nets.
Presenting the award to Mills was the son of Sir Donald Bradman, John Bradman. He said that while Mills’ on-court abilities are something to behold, his father always spoke about sport’s power to inspire others and Mills has embodied that.
“He’s not just a champion player, he’s a champion person, a leader, a star on and off the court, and most of all an inspiration to all of us,” Mr Bradman said.
Speaking from the United States, a proud Mr Mills said he never set out to win these types of awards.
“I go about my craft as a professional and learn ways to get better, trying to carry myself in a way that I think can inspire others. Being recognised in this way to me isn’t about who I sit alongside, it’s about how I can inspire others with my journey,” he said.
Mills has already been awarded ACT Australian of the Year for 2021 and may also be named Australian of the Year on 25 January 2022.