NBA championship-winner Patty Mills says he wants to bring "long-lasting improvement" to people's lives after launching a foundation to support women and underprivileged families, culture, diversity and enact change in the environment.
Mills' latest partnership will be with The Firesticks Alliance after learning about the organisation when he returned to Australia to visit bushfire affected regions on the south coast and help families in need.
The formation of the foundation comes as Mills and the San Antonio Spurs await the NBA's decision about potentially restarting the season in Orlando in the coming weeks.
But the Canberra junior has used his time away from full-time basketball to focus on his passions off the court, highlighted by his efforts to raise more than $100,000 in seven hours for domestic violence prevention as part of a Mother's Day initiative.
"I am incredibly excited to announce the launch of Team Mills Foundation; an organisation built on taking courageous and ongoing action to bring long-lasting improvement to people's lives," Mills said.
"Our Foundation is personal but relatable, as it reflects values that have been instilled in me by my previous generations and through our customs and traditions. Our vision is to make a tangible difference at the intersection of those values and people's lives, shining light on critical issues as well as providing opportunities and pathways of success to empower and unlock people's tremendous potential.
"I play basketball, and I'm grateful for what the sport has provided for me and my family, but I'm even more appreciative for the voice and platform that has come along with it. It has allowed me to follow through with my successes on the court to inspire, support and make change in other people's lives, especially the ones who need it most.
"Striving for greatness in my field, to create history, to accomplish the unimaginable - sure, it's for me, but it turns out - it isn't. It's for everyone and everything that will be directly impacted by this foundation."
The foundation will be built on six key principles: family, environment, culture, pathways and opportunities, empowering women and multicultural and diversity.
Mills' "GiveMamaCoffee" campaign earlier this month captured attention in San Antonio and raised money around the world for domestic violence prevention and help business affected by coronavirus shutdowns.
He shocked south coast residents when he arrived on their doorstep earlier this year, offering to help with the post-fires clean up and delivering trailer loads of supplies to regions in desperate need.
Mills hasn't slowed down during coronavirus quarantine, turning his energy to all of his passions away from basketball.
"I understand my platform and I understand I've got an opportunity to create pathways and other opportunities for other indigenous people in Australia," Mills said on The Howie Games podcast last week.
"I'm committed to that. We've been working on some stuff during quarantine ... Never forget who you are, understand your identity and never forget about that.
MORE CANBERRA SPORT
"... I'm just living my lifestyle as I've been taught growing up. I'm not putting on anything, this is how my mum and dad and family taught me to be. Setting examples and being a role model comes back to my parents, combined with my culture and everything culture means to us.
"This is much bigger than myself. This is much bigger than the game of basketball. I just want to try to influence as many people as I can, indigenous or non-indigenous, so people can get to the same place I am.
The 31-year-old launched a community water project last year to provide clean, sustainable drinking water for six remote indigenous communities.
The former Marist College student has decided to use his NBA platform to help others, which is why many have tipped him to be Australia's flag bearer at the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.
"I understand where my roots are and my connection to Australia," Mills said of his bushfire trip. "That's a big part of the reason we wanted to come back - the connection to the land, the wildlife, totems and communities.
"We knew coming back was the right thing and we were reminded of that every day. Whether it was the people who told us their stories, or how we had helped. There were a lot of tears from both ends."
The launch of the foundation coincides with National Reconciliation Week and Mills' goal is simple: "To make a positive, long, lasting impact on communities worldwide."
"The Team Mills Foundation creates a new model for communities across the globe to come together, spark conversation and ignite action to achieve the ultimate goal of a brighter future for those who need it most," the foundation release said.