April 14, 2011

Shooting For Success share high-flying exciting hoops in India

David “DJ” Jones was born in California and now spends his time working in San Antonio, Texas with his basketball camp/foundation, Shooting For Success (SFS). Funny then, that the city where he hears the crowds offering him the most home support these days is thousands of miles away from home... Mumbai.

With four years of participation in Mumbai’s Savio Cup, and this year, for the first time playing in the 2011 Ramu Memorial Basketball Tournament (RMBT), SFS have certainly made a name for themselves in Mumbai. The club has been the only consistent foreign side visiting India for basketball competitions in recent years, and their fan following has now reached near-cult status.

SFS’ connection with India began when their team manager, Tushar Patel, first the team over here. “We always have a great experience here, and that is why we keep coming back,” said DJ, who is the captain and coach of the side, as well as the coach back home for the SFS camp in Texas. “It is the great experience that makes us keep coming back – teams that don’t come here are missing out!”

SFS are a crowd-favourite in Mumbai, as they exhibit amazing above the rim athleticism, swarming defense, and some hot shooting rarely seen on courts in India. DJ, who has played at the professional level in the States for over a decade, says that Mumbai has been one of the places that has shown him the most love. They chant his name ‘DJ! DJ! DJ!’ every time he gets on court; they scream in delight whenever he beats a man off his quick dribble or drains one of his many reliable three-pointers. “The fans treat us well here, so we keep coming back!” he says.

Apart from their captain, the current SFS side playing at the RMBT in the Indian Gymkhana in Matunga feature the tall and athletic forward Terry Fields, who is one of the most exciting dunkers in the team and won the Savio Cup’s Slam Dunk Competition. DJ also mention point guard Limar, who is a fantastic point guard and tough defender.

Still, it’s not all ‘showtime’ from SFS – At the Savio Cup a few months ago, the Indian Railways side, led by Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, shocked SFS in an exciting finale. SFS have returned for Ramu Memorial with another strong squad, hoping to prove themselves again. “We want to get better each time and keep the fans on the edge of their seat with excitement,” said DJ, “The Savio Cup loss left a bad taste in our mouth but we are back here to win.”

With two wins in their first two games, it seems that Shooting For Success certainly mean business!

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