Prepare to be blasted with a full force of bias.
I did most of my schooling in Woodstock School in Mussoorie, spending my formative years (10-18) in the boarding school in the Himalayas. I even worked at the school for a year. It was my time here that made me into the basketball fanatic that I am, and, although I was never good enough to play in the Woodstock's basketball team (The Tigers), I was deeply influenced by all of the school's basketball activities. Woodstock's basketball season comes to a heady zenith every spring, when the school organizes the Win Mumby All India Basketball Tournament. Over a dozen of India's top schools from the Mussoorie/Dehradun region, and some from much further like New Delhi, Sanawar, and Patiala, take part in this annual tournament. It's basketball mania at it's best, nestled in the gorgeous surroundings of the Mussoorie mountains.
I was back to witness the Win Mumby in Woodstock this year, and the tournament didn't disappoint, as the Woodstock Boys team lifted the championship for the third consecutive year on Saturday, April 20th, following a convincing win over Welham Boys' School (Dehradun) 67-42 in the Final. Woodstock's captain Matthew Sailo - a tall, dominant senior - was named MVP of the tournament for the second consecutive year. The final turned out to be a much easier affair, especially after the memorable battle for the home team in the Semi-Final round, where they edged Modern School (Delhi) 83-79 behind 45 points by Karan Deol.
In the Girls section, Modern School won the championship for the second year running after beating Welham Girls’ School 39-20. Woodstock’s girls team reached the semi-finals but lost out to Welham Girls.
The 16 teams competing were:
Girls: Welham Girls’ School (Dehradun), Hope Town Girls’ School (Dehradun), The Shri Ram School (Gurgaon), The Lawrence School (Sanawar), Modern School (Delhi), Bluebells School (Delhi), Wynberg Allen School (Mussoorie), Woodstock School (Mussoorie).
Boys: Welham Boys’ School (Dehradun), The Doon School (Dehradun), The Shri Ram School (Gurgaon), Yadavindra Public School (Patiala), Modern School (Delhi), The Asian School (Dehradun), Wynberg Allen School (Mussoorie), Woodstock School (Mussoorie).
Vijay Bahuguna, the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, was the chief guest at the Win Mumby Basketball Court for the Finals.
Also attending the tournament were representatives from NBA-India, including NBA's Senior Director of International Operations Troy Justice, NBA's Senior Director of Development in India Akash Jain, and Eban Hyams, who is also of NBA-India Operations. Justice gave a talk to the Senior Boys team about applying to US/Canada colleges with their basketball programmes in mind. Hyams put up a special 'dunk performance' for the kids over the past week, too.
Congrats, Tigers! Hopefully our Girls are inching closer to figuring out how to solve the Welham's riddle!