April 2, 2015

CV Sunny - former India national captain - launches basketball academy in Chennai

In his prime, CV Sunny was one of the best players that Indian basketball ever produced. A regular member and even a captain of the national team in the 1980s and 90s, the 5-foot-11 playmaker enjoyed a memorable run of success internationally as well as at the domestic level. Although age and retirement finally saw him bid adieu to his playing days, Sunny has remained determined to pass on his skills and knowledge of the game to the next generation.

It has been with this mission to help pass on hoops culture and knowledge to the youth that Sunny launched the CV Sunny Basketball Academy in Chennai, which aims to separate itself from other existing academies through its internationally recognised coaching programme and its pan-India aspirations. The first programme of the academy is set to be the Summer of Skills, camp from April 15. The camp - which will run five to six weeks - will be held at the Santhome Higher Secondary School’s Sports Club, which is one of the finest facilities in Chennai with two outdoor and one indoor court. The camp will be for both boys and girls and will be divided into three categories: Mini (under-13), Junior (under-16) and Senior (under-19). In addition to Sunny being available as the head coach, the programme has been designed and will be conducted by FIBA and BFI certified coaches. Former Indian Women’s team captain Meena Latha will also be one of the coaches available during the programme.

Speaking about the larger goals of the Academy, Sunny said, "Our vision is the overall promotion and development of basketball in India and to make it a mainstream sport. For India to be a top team in the world, we need to build systems at the grassroots level. This can be only achieved by collaborating with state associations, media, corporates, and fans. We hope our initiative will provide the right impetus in this direction."

The camp will follow the scientifically approved principles of Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) to revolutionise grassroots basketball coaching in India. LTAD emphasises progressive coaching as per each individual’s ‘baseline measurement’ ensuring development of each player at his or her own pace. Apart from individual skill development, team goals will also be set for the groups as a whole.

The CV Sunny Basketball Academy was actually launched last year and has ambitious plans for the future. "We want to bring in professionalism in Indian basketball coaching through the introduction of internationally recognised programmes," said Shaji Raju, one of the main organizers of the camp, "Unlike standalone academies in the past, our approach will be collaborative and we will seek the assistance of the best coaches in India such as Scott Flemming [Current Indian national men’s head coach], Shiba Maggon (ex-India women’s captain and international coach) and others from abroad. We also plan to open our Academy’s branches in other locations across India and introduce parallel training programmes for coaches and officials. In order to achieve these goals, we wish to tie up with the NBA, FIBA and other organisations working towards promoting the sport in our country."

Sunny certainly has the past accolades to feel confident and ambitious about the future. Raised in Pala (Kerala) as Cheruthottil Varghese Sunny, he went on to be a basketball professional spanning several decades, playing for Kerala Police, Kerala State, Tamil Nadu State, and Indian Bank, as well as being a regular member of India's Sr. National Men's squad. He captained India at the 1995 South Asian Games in Madras and was conferred the GV Raja Award in 1996 for his immense contribution towards basketball.

For registration forms and queries on the Summer of Skills camp in Chennai, contact the academy at +91 8056125958 or email registration@cvsba.in. You can also find them on facebook at www.facebook.com/cvbsafl and their website www.cvsba.in.

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