Despite close proximity to Indian basketball’s hotbed Punjab and the headquarters of the BasketballFederation of India (BFI) in New Delhi, the city/union territory of Chandigarh hasn’t had much of a basketball history to boast of. Perhaps the small size of the city has limited the talent that could be assembled to represent them in National competitions, where Chandigarh usually finishes in the bottom half the standings every year. There has also been a dearth of national level competitions and basketball events in the city.
The Chandigarh Administration is set to change that very soon: after organizing All-India football and hockey tournaments in the city, the administration has set its sights on basketball. Eight of India’s top Men’s clubs teams have been invited to take part in the first edition of the All India Invitational Basketball Tournament at the Sector 46 Complex Courts from March 8-12, 2013.
As regular followers of Indian hoops may already know, India has no professional basketball league yet; the best players in the country represent their states or their clubs in various tournaments that are held around the country annually. Outside of the national tournaments organized by the BFI in different age groups for both Men and Women, the top players also take part in state and district level competitions. Indian clubs play in invitational tournaments throughout the year such as the Savio Cup in Mumbai, the JCI tournament in Kerala, or the Chennai invitational tournament.
This first time tournament in Chandigarh has high hopes: According to a report on IndianExpress, the eight teams invited for the tournament include 2013 Federation cup winners ONGC and runners-up IOB (Chennai). Most of the other teams will be from around the Chandigarh/Punjab region. This will be a prize money tournament with the winners offered Rs. 1.5 lakhs, the runners-up Rs. 75,000, and third place holders Rs. 50,000. Matches will be played in the league-cum-knockout basis.
Participating Teams:: ONGC, IOB, Central Reserve Police Force, Indian Army, Punjab Armed Police, Rail Coach Factory (Kapurthala), Rest of Punjab, and hosts Chandigarh.
Good job Chandigarh: hopefully this tournament can motivate some young players attending this tournament to emulate the biggest stars of India and play for their city and country some day!