June 16, 2016

Jeppiaar Institute of Technology (Chennai) to send basketball contingent to USA for IMG Academy camp


One of India's top institutions for basketball talent and results, the Jeppiaar Institute of Technology (JIT), is now striving to help its top players get even better. JIT, which is based in Sri Perumbadur just outside Chennai in Tamil Nadu, is sending four of its best players and their head coach to the world-famous IMG Academy facility in Brandenton, Florida, USA for a five-week training camp from June 17 to July 23.

The four JIT athletes (all from Tamil Nadu) and coach will be hosted at the IMG campus. JIT's Managing Director N Marie Wilson will join the contingent to Florida.

The IMG Acdemy is famous for having an incredibly varied and holistic programme for a range of sports. Most importantly for India, this is the same academy that trained and educated Satnam Singh for five years, the big man who became India's first player drafted into the NBA last year. Its basketball programme has produced Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls) and Michael Beasley (Houston Rockets), among other professional athletes.

The partnership between JIT and IMG was facilitated by Pursuit India, the talent management division of Ekalavyas Consultancy. To help improve JIT's (already dominant) performances at basketball events and championships in India, JIT's MD Wilson worked with Pursuit's Vishnu Ravi Shankar to help land JIT players to the summer basketball camp at IMG.

The IMG experience for these players from JIT will be invaluable in teaching them to be more compatible with a different and more strenuous brand of basketball. The technical experts of IMG, with their case-to-case evaluation of players might also be able to offer more of an insight than other coaches in India who might not have the same equipment or time to do so.

"The objective is to develop skill sets that will allow the players to compete at the Inter-University and Inter-College levels," Wilson said. He hoped that this turns out to be a pioneering decision, which will be replicated in the future, while also stressing that he would like to prepare the players to play in professional leagues should such opportunities present themselves.

Pursuit's Shankar added, "It’s a great step forward by Mr. Wilson and the management at Jeppiaar. Even five weeks at an academy like IMG can do a world of good for young players and help them become future stars." He also said that he hopes that other universities will be able to identify this as an opportunity and will opt for it going forward.

JIT contingent for IMG Academy's Summer Basketball Camp
  • Anantharaj Eswaran (19)
  • Jeyavenkatesh Kothandaraja (20)
  • Navas Jaleel (17)
  • Muin Bek Hafeez (20)
  • Coach: Ravishankar
Muin Bek Hafeez, one of the players making the trip shared his excitement, "My teammates and I are excited about learning from players and coaches who have experience in the NBA and I hope that this will help me in my career going forward."

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