India’s finest under-14 level basketball players, from all four corners of the country, gathered together as the 38th Sub-Jr. National Basketball Championship for Boys & Girls got under way at the RDSO basketball courts in the city of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, on Friday. Although the first day of the championship was disrupted by heavy showers, perennial powerhouses Chhattisgarh girls started off strong again with a convincing victory over Punjab.
24 boys’ teams and 23 girls’ teams are taking part in this championship, which features the youngest members of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) family. The nationals, organised by the BFI and the Uttar Pradesh Basketball Association (UPBA), was inaugaurated by the chief guest V. Ramchandran, the director-general of RDSO, on Thursday evening.
Mr. Alok Sharma, the president of the UPBA was also present at the opening ceremony and encouraged the young hoop stars at present at the tournament. “You have come here to enjoy the game. At this stage, you learn the basics of basketball, you learn to win, and you learn to lose. Learning to lose is as important as learning to win.”
The Chhattisgarh Girls side, winners of the 2010 championship in Kangra, started where they left off in Lucknow with a dominating win over Punjab. Chhattisgarh only allowed Punjab to score one point in the first three quarters, and were comfortable 43-8 winners.
In a close Boys’ game, Andhra Pradesh edged out Haryana 36-34. After taking a comfortable eight point lead at the end of three quarters, Haryana made a furious comeback in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough to stop AP from a close victory.