The tournament, set to begin on July 24, had already drawn a lot of attention in its maiden camp in Mumbai in early April this year. Referred to as the City of Basketball by former NBA player and head coach of the clinic Marty Conlon, Bangalore not just lived up to its tag but even exceeded the expectations of the organisers with huge turnout on the opening day.
Around 1000 players, coaches, parents, organisers and Karnataka State Basketball Association members crowded the stadiumfor the three-hour camp.
NBA Director, basketball operations in India, Troy Justice and Conlon started off with basic warm-up drills and focussed on defensive techniques for the better half of the clinic, which was attended by over 150 under-15 players.
“This was very rewarding,” said Conlon. “The children showed great intensity in what we had to offer and with interest comes a great deal of growth. This age group was too young for a specific kind of training so we worked on the basics and made it as fun as possible. The coming weeks should be good for us,” he added.
Donning new NBA jerseys, the young aspirants’ fitness levels came in for severe test as the coaches made them bend their knees, keep their back straight and slide from side to side -- the right defensive posture. The coaches went about defensive routines for an hour, and towards the end of the clinic, worked on the basic screen-and-role moves.
On the sidelines, sat some of City’s well-known coaches, waiting to latch on to any new coaching technique on offer, and almost all of them had a word of praise for the NBA and its assistance for the growth of the sport in India.|
“This is a very good initiative,” said Vijaya Bank coach Dileep Kumar. “See we have been teaching these same techniques to them (players) for a long time now but they seem to grasp ot better when the NBA coaches do it.”
State league may take shape soon
The Karnataka State Basketball Association President K Govindaraj on Saturday hinted at the formation of a State basketball league within the next couple of months, reports DHNS
Speaking on the sidelines of a players’ clinic at the Sree Kanteerava stadium, Govindaraj said all the steps have been taken in that regard.
“We are going to start a league format tournament of our own apart from the ones we alredy have now. It will be called the Karnataka Basketball League and will start sometime in September.
“It will be spread across eight districts in the State and the final will be conducted in Bangalore. Details on the format will be released on a later date but we are sure of conducting the event,” he added.