July 17, 2012

Ball-y-wood: Former NBA player and coach Kenny Natt is in the middle of a basketball revolution in India

This feature was originally published in the August 2012 edition of SLAM Magazine (SLAM No. 160)

by Karan Madhok - photo courtesy Angad B. Sodhi

The sounds are the same. The same squeak of sneakers rubbing against the wooden floor. The same sweekk of a leather ball swishing through the net. The same cacophony created by a dozen different balls bouncing against the floor in irregular beats.

But then the voices start and you realize that something is different. Basketball words are being used, but they are expressed in a jumbled mix of different languages: English, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Malayalam and Marathi, too.

This isn’t a pick-up run on the East Coast or a college game in mid-America or an NBA game on the West Coast. This is a court thousands of miles of land and ocean away from those basketball havens. This is India’s Senior Men’s National Basketball squad—a select group of the best basketball players chosen from a population of 1.2 billion people—hard at practice. In the midst of these players stands their coach, an American named Kenny Natt, who has a rich history in the NBA.

Click here to read full feature on SLAMOnline.com

No comments:

Post a Comment