The world of basketball in India has been on fire ever since the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) signed a 30 year deal with IMG-Reliance to promote the game and eventually, launch a pro basketball league in the country. One of the first steps in this process will be basketball try-outs for 25 men and 25 women players in New Delhi from 22-24 July. At the end of these try-outs, eight players will be selected by a team of visiting foreign experts.
The 50 players that have been chosen for the try-outs will also be accompanied with coaches and technical experts. "Most likely the training-cum-selection camp will be housed at the YMCA basketball stadium," said Harish Sharma, president of the BFI. Sharma also clarified that he BFI will have no role in the selection process, which will be done entirely by the IMG-Reliance-sponsored experts.
IMG Reliance will provide the foreign experts to coach, train and give technical guidance to the selected few.
The foreign experts will have their own sets of criteria in the final selections. The training will be followed by internal matches by dividing the 50 players into separate teams. But winning or losing the matches will not be the deciding factor. Rather, there will be clear weightage for each aspect of the training and overall performance.
The question is, YMCA does not have an airconditioned indoor stadium, which is compulsory in international level matches, so will the foreign experts agree to this?
The BFI does not till date have its own playing field, let alone an indoor, air-conditioned one. The indoor stadium built prior to the 1982 Asian Games at the Talkatora Complex has been taken over for two disparate activities: table tennis and political meets.
Sharma says that there are many good courts in some of the top private schools in the Capital. “We are looking into hiring one of them for the camp,” he said.
Last week, the BFI did take a positive step and laid the foundation stone for its own official playing field at Ajmal Khan Park in New Delhi.