India need more facilities: Horry

Basketball

There is no dearth of basketball talent in India and all it needs is more infrastructure for the game to flourish in the country, said seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry here on Sunday.

The 42-year-old was in Bangalore as the chief guest during the final of the Bangalore-leg of the third Mahindra NBA Challenge at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. “There’s plenty of talent in India. The game has become global. The players have become more agile. But for the players (from the country) to make it truly big, more facilities are needed at the grassroot level,” said Horry.

“You have to catch young talent. Back home in the US, I started playing the game at the age of two,” he said.

Horry and John Salley are the only two players to have won the NBA Championship with three teams. Horry, who was well known for his clutch shooting and nicknamed Big Shot Rob, picked out his second NBA Championship victory with Houston Rockets in 1995 as his most cherished triumph.

“It’s always tricky to rate the triumphs. But I’ll choose my second title as my favourite. We overcame quality players and it was great,” said the legend.

He also won the NBA Championship three times with Los Angeles Lakers and twice with San Antonio Spurs during his 16-year career. Horry said any shot which helped his team tilt the scales in the closing minutes of a play-off game meant a lot to him.

He judged the three-point competition held on the sidelines of the event.

“You’ve to shut out the crowd and concentrate hard. That’s what we do in the NBA as the pressure mounts,” he added even as the crowd egged on the challengers.  

Horry also demonstrated his shooting skills and encouraged the competitors during the clinic for the young hoopsters.

Horry rated his coach at  Houston Rockets, Rudy Tomjanovich, as the finest he played under. “Rudy had a very good rapport with the players,” he said.

On his Indian trip, he quipped: “I feel great. I have lots of friends here and I love Indian food. But I tell them not to make it so spicy.”

ASC champs

ASC beat Bharath 76-71 to win the senior men’s title in the Bangalore leg of the third Mahindra NBA Challenge on Sunday. Sports Hostel, Mysore, emerged victorious in the senior women’s section with a 50-35 win over Mounts Club in the final.

The inaugural Mahindra NBA Challenge National Championship will be held in New Delhi from October 4 to 7.  The winning teams from the senior and under-18 divisions in both the men’s women’s sections from five cities (New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ludhiana and Kochi) will compete in the championship.

Results (all finals): Men: ASC: 76 (Adeel 22) bt Bharath: 71
Boys: U-18: Young Orions: 52 (Sharath 25) bt Beagles: 42
U-16: Beagles: 57 bt Young Orions: 51 (Daniel 22). U-13: Young Orions: 50 (Girish 20) bt YMMA: 38
Women: Sports Hostel, Mysore: 50 (Kruthika 18) bt Mounts Club: 35
Girls: U-18: Mounts Club: 55 (Lopamudra 12) bt Sports Hostel, Mysore: 54. U-16: Sports Hostel, Mandya: 45 (Bhandavya 21) bt Mounts Club: 29
U-13: Sports Hostel, Mandya: 55 (Bhandavya 24) bt Mounts: 24.

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