Phase 1. Junior basketball training at a school in Secunderabad
Phase 2. ???
Phase 3. Profit
Ok, so it's not exactly Underpants Gnomes Logic, but basketball visionaries Robert Selby and Tanya Parker from the US, have joined hands with the St. Patrick's Academy, a school in Secunderabad, to "broad base what they call the greatest game in the world." According to Parker, the duo has set up a five-year pilot project through which they "hope to build a 100,000-strong basketball community in India."
The duo worked with Bana 'Baba' Ravinder and the children of the St. Patrick's Academy. A. Joseph Antony from The Hindu reports:
Their first day with Ravinder's trainees was an exhilarating experience. “The children were sponges, soaking up whatever we had for them,” said Selby, a product of the Five Star Academy at Honesdale in the mountains of Pennsylvania.
The said institution nurtured the game's greats such as Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Vince Carter among 400 who made it to the fiercely competitive National Basketball Association (NBA) league.
“The body language of the children here bristled with enthusiasm, matched by their willingness to learn, making it obvious that size didn't matter,” Selby noted.
“The girls seemed more thoughtful though,” said Tanya, a teacher turned business woman, who does the marketing, communication and fund-raising for World Class Athletic Development, the firm the duo has set up.
“We want to build a farm system of talent up to the state level and then let it take wing through exchange and training scholarships in line with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) model,” [Selby] added.
“We see our venture as sacred commerce, which benefits people and feeds more energy into the existing structure,” says Tanya.
The duo also hope to hold a residential camp for junior national players from Andhra Pradesh, collaborate with India's very own hoop culture promoters Hoops India, and later attend the junior national championships in Chennai.
Big plans for the duo - hopefully they continue to enjoy the charm of teaching basketball in India.