Star players aren't born ready-made; it takes years of practice, training, and importantly, experience. For hundreds of India's future star basketball players, the biggest step of that valuable experience began on Tuesday, February 2, as the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) tipped off the 42nd Sub-Junior (U14) National Basketball Championship for Boys and Girls in Puducherry. A total of 23 boys' teams and 27 girls' teams from around India will be in Puducherry from February 2nd - 8th, 2016 for the tournament.
- Group A: Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Haryana, Maharashtra.
- Group B: Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh.
- Group C: Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.
- Group D: Kerala, Gujarat, Puducherry.
- Group E: Tamil Nadu, Goa, Punjab, West Bengal.
- Group F: Bihar, Delhi, Telangana, Tripura.
- Group A: Kerala, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal.
- Group B: Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi.
- Group C: Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha.
- Group D: Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry.
- Group E: Punjab, Goa, Rajasthan.
- Group F: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana.
Another matter of interest at the nationals is that the daughter of politician Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra - Miraya Vadra - is playing for Team Haryana at the tournament. Her team lost to Tamil Nadu 80-58 on Tuesday.
Puducherry's boys team hardly fared better on opening day, going down to Gujarat 61-22. Boys' reigning champions Madhya Pradesh meanwhile played one of the most thrilling games of the day in a close win over Maharashtra. After holding to a comfortable 16 point lead after three quarters, MP allowed Maharashtra a dangerous late comeback, and were only saved by the buzzer as they held on to win 57-55 at the end of the game. MP's Pankaj Singh scored 26 for the winning side.
Selected Day 1 Scores
- Odisha (Sourav Kumar Sahoo 16, Brahmananda Behera 14) bt Haryana (Aryan 14) 61-59 (10-14, 14-24, 18-13, 19-8).
- Madhya Pradesh (Pankaj Singh 26) bt Maharashtra (Sankalp Panda 14) 57-55 (13-10, 10-7, 24-14, 10-24).
- Gujarat (Rushal 15) bt Puducherry 61-22 (25-10, 12-5, 13-2, 11-5).
- Kerala (Krishna Priya SS 18) bt West Bengal 48-17 (11-4, 21-5, 7-6, 9-2).
- Tamil Nadu (Pavithra Sree 36) bt Haryana (Maika 32) 80-58 (23-6, 8-9, 23-14, 22-19).
- Himachal Pradesh (Ananya Sanoria 19) bt Puducherry 47-15 (20-0, 5-2, 9-7, 13-6).