Deep in the heart of the Thar Desert is Didwana, a city known more for it's mandirs and mathhs than its sports. For the next week, however, this Rajasthani town will be the place to get a first glimpse at the future of Indian basketball.
From October 8-14, the 44th Sub Junior National Championship for Boys and Girls - the Sub-Junior Nationals - will be held at Didwana's Bangour College Stadium. The championship will feature 30 boys' teams and 24 girls' teams in the U14 age group from various Indian States and Union territories, and will be played in a league/knockout format. The Championship is being organized by the Rajasthan Basketball Association under the aegis of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI).
Madhya Pradesh Boys and Chhattisgarh Girls are the defending champions from the previous edition held in Hyderabad last year, retaining their trophies from previous years.
The opening ceremony will be held on Sunday, 8th October with Yoonus Khan (PWD and Transportation Minister of Rajasthan) as the Chief Guest.
- Group A: Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab, Maharashtra.
- Group B: Rajasthan, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha.
- Group C: Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, Nagaland, Puducherry.
- Group D: Kerala, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Tripura.
- Group E: Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, Uttarakhand.
- Group F: Delhi, Assam, Jharkhand, Manipur, West Bengal.
- Group A: Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi.
- Group B: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab.
- Group C: Haryana, Chandigarh, Goa.
- Group D: Telangana, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir.
- Group E: Gujarat, Assam, Jharkhand, West Bengal.
- Group F: Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand.
The reigning champs MP and Chhattisgarh will hope to stamp their place as dynasties in this format, as MP look for their fourth consecutive title and Chhattisgarh for a three-peat. Last year, Rajasthan's boys squad lost in the finals and the girls finished fifth, and the hosts will have the support of the home crowd to push them forward. Haryana boys will be another contending squad to watch out for. In the girls' bracket, Chhattisgarh are likely to be challenged by the strongest teams from the South: Tamil Nadu and Kerala.