This feature was originally published in the August 2012 edition of SLAM Magazine (SLAM No. 160)
by Karan Madhok - photo courtesy Angad B. Sodhi
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.