April 30, 2013

30th Youth (U16) National Basketball Championships tip off in Kolkata

25 boys’ and 24 girls’ teams from different states from all across India have descended in Kolkata (West Bengal) to take part in India’s 30th Youth National Basketball Championship for Boys and Girls. Organized by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) in association with the West Bengal Basketball Association (WBBA), the tournament is being held from April 30th to May 7th at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata.

The championship will feature the best under-16 up-and-coming players from across India. Their performances will determine the best of the lot to be chosen for India national camps to build the roster for India’s U16 teams for FIBA Asia U16 Championships in both boys’ and girls’ divisions later this year.

All eyes will be on the girls’ squad from Kerala, who have won the Youth Nationals for the past three years, including last year’s tournament in Indore. Madhya Pradesh boys’ also won last year’s championships and will be looking to defend their title this time around.

Here is the full list and groupings of participating teams in this year’s tournament.


Level 1

  • Group A: Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala.
  • Group B: Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha.

Level 2

  • Group C: Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Group D: Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, West Bengal.
  • Group E: Karnataka, Chandigarh, Manipur, Tripura.
  • Group F: Uttarakhand, Bihar, Mizoram, Puducherry.


Level 1

  • Group A: Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka.
  • Group B: Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh.

Level 2

  • Group C: West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand.
  • Group D: Haryana, Gujarat, Manipur.
  • Group E: Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Orissa, Uttarakhand.
  • Group F: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Puducherry, Tripura.

The championship will be held in league-cum-knockout basis. The finals are scheduled for May 7th. Prize money will be awarded to top three teams in both boys and girls divisions as winners take home Rs 75,000, runners-up Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 for third place.

Check out the complete schedule and stay connected with the results from the tournament via the BFI website.

April 27, 2013

Everybody Hurts: The NBA's Injury Crisis

Russell Westbrook’s name has only been added to a growing list of NBA stars watching from the sidelines this season, which includes Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love, Amar’e Stoudemire, Andrew Bynum, Danny Granger, David Lee, Danilo Gallinari, and many more. Put those names together in full health and you have a squad that can challenge any NBA All Star team. The growing number of these injuries had already been a serious problem across the league, but now as Westbrook goes down, the alarm bells start ringing even louder. If it can happen to Iron Man – the durable, young, and healthy talent like him – it can happen to anyone.

Click here to read full feature.

April 23, 2013

Started from the Bottom: David Stern makes his first trip to India

I wrote this feature for SLAM Online, and it was originally published on their website on April 17, 2013.

Streetball schedules in India change drastically in the summer. With temperatures soaring to unbearable heights, most players choose wisely to avoid playing when the sun is up at its harshest. Serious ballers wake up at dawn for an early run around 6-8 AM, and then, after a day spent at rest/school/work, they return as the sun sets for a few more hours in the cooler evenings. The brave souls who do venture out to play in the afternoons have to deal with dizzying afternoon winds (called Loo in Hindi), and cement courts so hot that they could burn shoe-soles and bare feet. Playing bare feet, of course, isn’t exactly out of the question in the poorer pockets of the cities.

Mumbai is far from being India’s hottest city, but temperatures do begin to soar to uncomfortable highs starting from this time of the year and running into the humid pre-monsoon. And it was in one such April afternoon in the warm, humid city of Mumbai that the man who has single-handedly been most responsible for revolutionizing the game of basketball found himself on a basketball court.

This is an image of NBA Commissioner David Stern, standing alone holding a basketball in a raggedy-looking court in the heart of Mumbai. That is the Mastan YMCA court in Nagpada, a mostly-Muslim minority neighbourhood in India’s financial capital, an overcrowded bustling area of slumdogs in the city of millionaires. This iconic basketball court is where some of the nation’s finest have honed their craft and where ambitious poor street children mingle with international-level players.  

Officially in India for the launch of a NBA Cares programme, Stern’s belated visit to the world’s second-largest population means a lot more than charity. Entering the last of his 30 long years as the head honcho of the NBA, Stern has a revolution of the game back home – from Magic and Larry to Jordan to James – and a rapid popularization abroad – from Barcelona ’92 to China. Now, he finds himself, for the first time in his career, in one of basketball’s last international frontiers.

By most accounts, basketball is only second to football (soccer) in its widespread popularity across the world. From the best in the game in North America to the passionate followers of the game in South America and Europe; from the far reaches of Australia and Africa, and the 1.5 billion in China, basketball has been accepted and it has thrived. But the 1.3 billion people – most of whom left completely untouched by the sport – have long stuck out like a sore thumb.

Stern, who took over as Commissioner of the NBA in 1984, visited Russia for the first time in 1988 and China in 1991. In a recent interview with DNA India, he admitted that that the NBA has been late in their entry to the Indian market. But, he added, “We were basically responding to a built-up infrastructure system. India, we were watching. This market is growing at such a rapid pace and we know we have an opportunity (to grow) here. We decided to be here. We only go to (to a country) if we are committed. We have offices in India now.”

The NBA’s has had a light presence in India for half a dozen years already, but it was only a year or so ago that the finally opened their first India office, in Mumbai. In the past recent years, the NBA sent current and former players to the country as league ambassadors (Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Brandon Jennings, Muggsy Bogues, George Gervin etc.) and held various grassroots programmes in the major basketball-loving cities in the country. Their presence grew online through NBA’s India website and social media and on the screen, with comprehensive broadcast deals bringing more live NBA games to the Indian household.

But it seemed that India still wasn’t ready yet. In a country of a billion, India still can’t find a 12-man roster to become a basketball heavyweight. India’s national teams still finish in the lower rungs of Asian championships and are usually ranked between 40-50 in the FIBA World Rankings. India’s best players still don’t have a professional league to practice their craft in; instead, they are all semi-professionals who hold other government jobs and take part in federation or private invitational tournaments through the year. The infrastructure in India is still an issue, with few stadiums that can boast international basketball competitions and none that could satisfy the NBA’s high demands. Most players still play in outdoor courts, on cement, still wake up before the sun in the summer or suffer the wrath of the afternoon heat.

The obvious example for Indian basketball to try and imitate are our friendly/frosty neighbours up north: China. Both are big countries with massive populations and a rapidly developing economy. China has accepted basketball with open arms: the game has trickled down from a fairly competent basketball league (CBA) to grassroots adoration into becoming the first-choice sport for most young Chinese. India knows that basketball will never upend Cricket in popularity, but those invested in the sport are interested in just capturing the attentions of a small minority. A minority of a billion is still a very, very large number. China got a head-start: the game has been played there for decades and started to become a bigger deal in the 90s. India may never get to that level, but Stern’s first visit could finally be the boost that it needs in the right direction.

Stern, for his part, was more optimistic about Indian talent than most, claiming that an Indian could play in the NBA within five years. Unless we count Canadian-Indian New Mexico State’s Sim Bhullar or his younger brother Tanveer (and we won’t), this still seems like quite a far-fetched possibility. The NBA is an impossibly tough league, and India’s coaching, player development, and infrastructure still need a few more years before we can begin to hone an NBA-worthy player. The closest call is Satnam Singh Bhamara – the 7-footed teenager who was plucked out of a tiny Indian village and now finds himself developing at an impressive rate in the IMG Academy in Florida.

Stern stated that he hopes to achieve four things in India: the right scale of adoption of the sport at school level, successful TV coverage, increased presence on digital and social platforms, and run a collegiate league.

Here’s the thing: Basketball is already played in most schools in India. The challenge isn't to adopt basketball to schools, but to make it a serious option for students and not just a pastime. Most young basketball players - even the really talented ones - quit the game to focus on 'real life' as they get older. Indian kids (like other Asian kids) are pressured to focus on traditional academics over anything else. This is a bigger problem facing anyone hoping to venture into sports or arts. 

TV coverage is definitely realistic, and the NBA has increased their coverage every year. Only problem with NBA in India on TV is that most live games are at around 5-8 AM in the morning, so it's tough to create the same game-watching atmosphere. The NBA is doing a great job with digital/social outreach in India, and this will continue to grow at a rapid pace.

And in reference to Stern’s last point: more than collegiate or school leagues, the NBA in India has been involved in promoting grassroots level competitions for inner-city amateurs around the country.

What India really, desperately needs, is a national professional basketball league. The type of league that will help create consistent basketball earnings for the best players in the game in the country and will encourage young talents to not quit on their hoop dreams too early. The type of league that if marketed the right way so casual fans of the sport – who know more about Kobe Bryant and LeBron James than home-grown stars like Vishesh Bhriguvanshi  and Jagdeep Singh – can become more aware of the Indian basketball talent. The type of league that can create jobs for referees and coaches, and assistants and managers, and agents and physiotherapists, and commentators and more. The league that could potentially would be the biggest push to improve on the basketball infrastructure across the county.

India’s experiment with this type of league – Cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL) – has already been in place for the past six years and enjoys a fanatic level of popularity. Private owners got involved and pumped in money into the IPL, and it has resulted in one of the richest leagues in the league. Other sports in India can’t expect cricket levels of success, but similar leagues in Field Hockey, football, and Badminton.

A pro basketball league can’t be too far away. The incentive will have to come from the Basketball Federation of India (BFI), the sport’s governing body in the country, and IMG Worldwide, the international conglomerate who have been the BFI’s sponsors for the past few seasons.

During his stay in Mumbai, Stern met with several current and prospective business partners for the NBA before enjoying an evening at an IPL game. Like the IPL learnt from the NBA in marketing cricket in India, Stern commented that the NBA will have to learn from the IPL to work in conjunction with the BFI and IMG to market basketball.

Things will not be as glamorous as they are in the States, or even work as smoothly as they do in China, but Stern’s visit has definitely signalled that basketball in India is headed in the right direction. And if a small fraction of the world’s second-largest population can become further enamoured by basketball, it could help make a big dent in the game’s future worldwide.

“India is totally unique,” Stern said, “We are starting from the bottom. And I must tell you we could not be more confident.”

‘The bottom’. As in the world’s largest youth population just waiting to be sold the game of basketball to become a real power. ‘The bottom’ are kids who play basketball in bare feet on hot days and kids who watch the NBA’s Commissioner promote a wonderful sport in their own backyard, near their own slums.

‘The bottom’, where money, fame, indoors, outdoors, hot and cold go out the window, and the only thing left is the player and the game. 

April 22, 2013

ONGC and Southern Railway win 2013 Ramu Memorial Basketball Tournament in Mumbai

India’s premier invitational basketball competition – the Ramu Memorial Basketball Tournament (RMBT) came to a conclusion in Mumbai on Sunday night with thrilling finales at the Indian Gymkhana basketball courts in Matunga. The 10-day long tournament, which featured India’s finest men and women players, as well as top youth players from the state of Maharashtra, concluded with victories for ONGC (Men), Southern Railway (Women) and Savio Club (Youth Boys).

The RMBT is one of the most prestigious basketball tournaments in the country. This was the 28th edition of the tournament, featuring participation from 11 teams from all across India in the Men’s and Women’s division and a further eight teams in the Youth (U21) tournament from Maharashtra.

In a hotly-contested Men’s final, ONGC (Uttarakhand) were made to sweat against IOB (Chennai), as the game went all the way down to the wire. While ONGC enjoyed a nine point lead at halftime, IOB stormed back in the third quarter and remained neck to neck with ONGC in the fourth till the final buzzer. Behind dominating performances by India internationals Yadwinder Singh (18 points) and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (17), ONGC were able to maintain their lead and win the game 59-54. Pratham Singh (21) and Rikin Pethani (18 points, 10 rebounds) were the leading scorers for IOB.

The Women’s final, which pitted two of India’s finest sides in Southern Railway and Chhattisgarh against each other, turned out into a blowout in Railway’s favour. Southern Railway, who had been defeated by Chhattisgarh by one point in a thrilling group game earlier in the week, took revenge by jumping into an early 15-4 lead in the first quarter of the Final en route to an impressive 64-39 victory which retained them the RMBT title. Railways’ Anitha Pauldurai – who struggled with her shot all game – nevertheless ended up with 17 points and 9 rebounds to lead the way for her squad. R Rajpriya had 20 points and 6 rebounds.
Railways played without the presence of their legendary Center Geethu Anna Jose.

The Final of the Maharashtra Youth Boys Tournament was also held on Sunday and won by Savio Club, who used their considerable height advantage to slip dominate Mastan YMCA 86-54.

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi of ONGC won the Best Player trophy at the tournament.

Earlier on Saturday, ONGC defeated Indian Air Force 72-52 in the first Men’s Semi-Final led by Bhriguvanshi's efficient 27 points and lock-down defence on the other end. IOB played in a thrilling second final against Punjab which they won 79-75.

A ‘Skills Challenge’ – akin to the similar competition held at the NBA’s All Star Weekend – was also held on Saturday. Southern Railway’s Kokila (Women) and RCF’s Kapurthala’s Nikhil Chopra (Men) emerged as winners.

This year’s RMBT took a step further than any other basketball competition in India in terms of embracing technology in promoting their games across the country, and potentially, across the world. Although Ramu Memorial has always been an attractive destination for local fans to attend and watch India’s finest players in action, this year, the action was brought closer to home than ever for those following the championship from long-distance. Through effective use of Facebook, Twitter, and the RMBT website, fans were able to get instant updates and recaps of the action. The games were shown on DD Sports as usual, but this year, the tournament was even live-streamed on RMBT’s YouTube page.

April 21, 2013

Woodstock School wins 3rd consecutive Win Mumby Basketball tournament in Mussoorie

Prepare to be blasted with a full force of bias.

I did most of my schooling in Woodstock School in Mussoorie, spending my formative years (10-18) in the boarding school in the Himalayas. I even worked at the school for a year. It was my time here that made me into the basketball fanatic that I am, and, although I was never good enough to play in the Woodstock's basketball team (The Tigers), I was deeply influenced by all of the school's basketball activities. Woodstock's basketball season comes to a heady zenith every spring, when the school organizes the Win Mumby All India Basketball Tournament. Over a dozen of India's top schools from the Mussoorie/Dehradun region, and some from much further like New Delhi, Sanawar, and Patiala, take part in this annual tournament. It's basketball mania at it's best, nestled in the gorgeous surroundings of the Mussoorie mountains.

I was back to witness the Win Mumby in Woodstock this year, and the tournament didn't disappoint, as the Woodstock Boys team lifted the championship for the third consecutive year on Saturday, April 20th, following a convincing win over Welham Boys' School (Dehradun) 67-42 in the Final. Woodstock's captain Matthew Sailo - a tall, dominant senior - was named MVP of the tournament for the second consecutive year. The final turned out to be a much easier affair, especially after the memorable battle for the home team in the Semi-Final round, where they edged Modern School (Delhi) 83-79 behind 45 points by Karan Deol.

In the Girls section, Modern School won the championship for the second year running after beating Welham Girls’ School 39-20. Woodstock’s girls team reached the semi-finals but lost out to Welham Girls.

The 16 teams competing were:

Girls: Welham Girls’ School (Dehradun), Hope Town Girls’ School (Dehradun), The Shri Ram School (Gurgaon), The Lawrence School (Sanawar), Modern School (Delhi), Bluebells School (Delhi), Wynberg Allen School (Mussoorie), Woodstock School (Mussoorie).

Boys: Welham Boys’ School (Dehradun), The Doon School (Dehradun), The Shri Ram School (Gurgaon), Yadavindra Public School (Patiala), Modern School (Delhi), The Asian School (Dehradun), Wynberg Allen School (Mussoorie), Woodstock School (Mussoorie).

Vijay Bahuguna, the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, was the chief guest at the Win Mumby Basketball Court for the Finals.

Also attending the tournament were representatives from NBA-India, including NBA's Senior Director of International Operations Troy Justice, NBA's Senior Director of Development in India Akash Jain, and Eban Hyams, who is also of NBA-India Operations. Justice gave a talk to the Senior Boys team about applying to US/Canada colleges with their basketball programmes in mind. Hyams put up a special 'dunk performance' for the kids over the past week, too.

Congrats, Tigers! Hopefully our Girls are inching closer to figuring out how to solve the Welham's riddle!

April 20, 2013

He who controls the past, controls the future: End of Season Awards and a playoffs preview

So now we stand at the crossroads between what we know about the past and what we can predict about the future. As the great George Orwell wrote through the slogan of Ingsoc in Ninety Eighty-Four: “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” The past and the present has been controlled by LeBron and Miami. Will the same hold true for the future?

Here are my end-of-season awards for 2012-13 and a preview of the upcoming playoffs.

Click here to read full article!

April 18, 2013

India's 1st U18 3x3 Basketball Championship to tip off in Ludhiana

A week ago, 3x3 Basketball went national and official in India, as the first ever Senior National 3x3 Basketball Championship was held in New Delhi. Now, the 3x3 fever trickles down to the youth too: from April 18-19, the 1st ever U18 3x3 National Basketball Championship for Boys & Girls will be held at the Guru Nanak Stadium in the city of Ludhiana, Punjab. Organized by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI), this championship will attract top state-level teams from across the country vying for the title.

Teams have already reported to the city for this championship. Participating players have to be born on or after January 1, 1995.

If you haven’t been keeping up, here is a quick recap of the official rules of 3x3: Games will be played on the half-court. Each team can have four players – three on the court and one off the bench. Each field goal is worth one point and a three-pointer is two points. The first team to 21, or the first team leading at the end of 10 minutes, wins. The shot-clock is just 12 seconds long. If scores are tied after 10 minutes there will be overtime, and the first team with a two point lead wins.

This tournament will serve as a platform to pick India’s national 3x3 team for future FIBA competitions. The best performing players will be picked to play for the U18 FIBA Asia 3x3 Basketball Championships in Bangkok (Thailand) from May 22-24, 2013.

Tamil Nadu (Men) and Indian Railways (Women) won the 3x3 Senior Championship Delhi last week. Since this is a quicker format of the game, it is nearly impossible to predict the approach that the smaller teams will take under a shorter time frame. The favourites for the tournament in both boys and girls divisions could be Chhattisgarh, who won the Junior National Championship for both in Puducherry last year. Teams from Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Delhi (Boys) and Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (Girls) could be top contenders for the title as well.

April 17, 2013

Another Indian – Naren Gupta – joins Sacramento Kings investors group

Hey, the Sacramento Kings are taking this whole Sacramento Rajas thing a little too seriously now, aren’t they?

Mumbai-born Vivek Ranadivé, current minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, prospective future majority owner of the Sacramento Kings, has added two more investors into the group that is bidding to buy the Kings from the Maloofs and keep them in Sacramento. One of the investors is tech entrepreneur (and former Apple executive) Andy Miller. The other is Naren Gupta, a silicon valley venture capitalist and the co-founder of Indian company Nexus Venture Partners. If their bid is successful, Gupta will join Ranadivé to become the second Indian owner of an NBA franchise.

If you’ve been following the Sacramento-Seattle-via-Mumbai battle closely, you would know that the current owners of the Kings are looking to sell the squad quickly to the best-possible bidder. Until recently, that best bidder came from a tech group in Seattle, a group hoping to carry the franchise out of Sacramento and bring back the Seattle Supersonics. But ever since Ranadivé, Indian tech mogul and the founder of the company TIBCO, joined a group of investors hoping to buy the Kings and keep them in Sacramento, there has been optimism in the California capital that an Indian can help the struggling team stay in the city where they’ve spent the past 28 years.

According to CowbellKingdom.com, Gupta and Miller are joining a group that already includes 24-Hour Fitness Founder Mark Mastrov, the Jacobs Family of wireless tech company Qualcomm, Sacramento developer Mark Friedman and former Facebook executive Chris Kelly.

Gupta also serves on the board of TIBCO. Last September, he spoke to Wall Street Journal on the innovation potential of India, saying, “Indians understand the enterprise space a lot better than the consumer space. I think in the next five years we’ll see a billion-dollar company come out of India.”

With the addition of Miller and particularly Gupta to the group, Ranadivé is continuing to push the ‘global brand’ mission for the Kings, helping the reach of his team reach India and other countries around the world. Ranadivé also has surrounded himself with tech-related investors, and his own technology background will form the major crux of Ranadivé’s plans leading the Kings into the future.

From Sacbee.com:

The goal is to create something Ranadive has begun calling "NBA 3.0," which refers to making basketball as popular worldwide as soccer. Much of the focus would be on China, where the NBA is already quite popular, and India, where cricket is considerably more popular.
Basketball "is a sport that lends itself to that," Ranadive said of the globalization effort. "It can be played in cities, it can be played in villages. Rich countries, poor countries - you don't need a lot of space like you do with cricket or soccer."

The NBA’s Board of Governors meeting will kick off on Wednesday in New York and will help determine the future of the Sacramento Kings.

April 14, 2013

Can't Break Down this Wall

Since his return to the Wizards’ lineup on January 12,John Wall has been averaging a career high 18.4 points per game and shooting at a career-best 44.7% from the field goal. Since his return, the Wizards have enjoyed a 24-23 record, which would’ve been good enough for a playoff spot in the East if Wall had them running at the same pace all season. The playoffs seemed out of reach months ago, but in Wall’s return and this team’s return to relevance, there is now finally some optimism in the future of Washington basketball.

Click here to read full feature

April 13, 2013

Love for the Glove

My childhood favourite - Gary Payton - will officially be enshrined in the NBA Hall of Fame this year. Here is my ode to 'The Glove', one of the the greatest two-way point guards in NBA history, legendary Seattle Supersonic, NBA Champion, and now, Hall of Famer.

Click here to read full feature

April 12, 2013

TN Men and Railways Women hoist India's 1st 3x3 National Basketball Championship

After two frantic days of quickfire basketball, the first ever 3x3 National Basketball Championship in India was decided with the Finals at the Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday evening. The tournament, which was held on April 10-11, saw India's best players from various states and units across the country take part in this new format of the game. At the end, Tamil Nadu Men and Indian Railways Women hoisted the winners' trophies.

The word of the tournament was 'fast'. 3x3 Basketball is a fast-paced version of the sport, held on the half-court in just quick 10-minute games. Around 60 games a day were held on each day of the tournament.

A total of 20 Men's and 16 Women's senior teams took part in the tournament.

The Men's Final was eventually held between Tamil Nadu and Indian Railways, and the closely matched teams fought each other neck-to-neck till the very end. The rules of 3x3 basketball state that the team leading at the end of 10 minutes or the first team to 21 points would be the winner. After regulation time, TN and Railways were tied in a hotly contested battle at 20-20. Going into overtime then, the winner would be whichever team to secure a two-point lead. That team was Tamil Nadu, who survived to win the contest 22-20. Pratham Singh had 11 points for the winning side.

It seems that Indian Railways women - led by Geethu Anna Jose and Anitha Paul Durai - win every competition in India, and in this new format was no exception. Railways dominated their final match-up against Delhi to cruise to a 21-12 victory.

Uttarakhand Men won third place in the tournament, defeating Kerala 21-13 behind 10 points by Vishesh Bhriguvanshi. Third place for Women was won by Maharashtra, who defeated Punjab 19-10 in the third-place matchup.

Earlier in the day, TN Men were made to sweat against Uttarakhand - the reigning holders of the Men's National Basketball Trophy - in a defensive game was finally decided 14-11 in TN's favour. Railways Men defeated Kerala 18-12 in the second Men's Semi-Final.

In the Women's Semi-Finals, Jose scored 12 points for Indian Railways to defeat Punjab 21-8, while Delhi defeated Maharashtra 16-13 at the end of 10 minutes.

Final Scores
  • Men: Tamil Nadu (Pratham Singh 11, Rikin Pethani 8) bt Indian Railways (Prakash Mishra 9) 22-20 OT
  • Women: Indian Railways (Manisha Dange 8) bt Delhi 21-12
Third/Fourth Place Matchups
  • Men: Uttarakhand (Vishesh Briguvanshi 10) bt Kerala 21-13
  • Women: Maharashtra bt Punjab 19-10

Final Standings


1. Tamil Nadu
2. Indian Railways
3. Uttarakhand
4. Kerala


1. Indian Railways
2. Delhi
3. Maharashtra
4. Punjab

Prize Money in both men and women category: Winner - Rs 1,01,000; Runner-up - Rs 30,000; Third place - Rs 20,000.

April 11, 2013

2013 Ramu Memorial Basketball Tournament to tip off on April 14

One of India’s premier basketball competitions – the Ramu Memorial Basketball Tournament (RMBT) – is set to be launched again for this year’s edition at the Indian Gymkhana in Mathunga, Mumbai from April 14-21. The 28th edition of the tournament will feature 11 of India’s top state and club teams participating in the senior category for Men and Women combined. In addition, a Youth (U21) Development tournament featuring teams from Maharashtra will begin on April 12.

The RMBT is one of the most prestigious basketball tournaments in the country. It started off back in the 1960s as a small scale competition between the local teams. In the 70s, it mushroomed into an all India tournament. While it was discontinued for a few years between 1993-2005, it was revived in 2006 and has since firmly established itself as one of the top competitions for Indian basketball players and fans.

In the last edition of the championship, Western Railway (Men) and Southern Railway (Women) emerged as champions. Many of India’s top players are currently participating for their states and units in the National 3x3 Basketball Championship in New Delhi, and they will head straight to Mumbai for the Ramu Memorial trophy after the Delhi tournament ends on April 11th.

Western Railway and Southern Railway will both be back to defend their trophies. Hosts Maharashtra is also fielding teams in both Men’s and Women’s categories. The teams participating in the tournament this year are:

Women: Southern Railway, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra


Pool A: ONGC, Punjab, RCF – Kapurthala, Karnataka.
Pool B: IOB Chennai, Western Railway, Maharashtra, Air Force.

In addition, here are the eight Maharashtra club teams taking part in the Youth (U21) Men’s Tournament:

Pool A: Savio Club, Mastan YMCA, Fr. Agnel’s.
Pool B: Indian Gymkhana, NNH, Ghatkopar YMCA.

Although dates are yet to be confirmed, a Dunk Contest and a Three-Point Shooting Competition will be held at the event on April 19-20. It was also recently announced that all games of the tournament will be streamed live on YouTube on the channel: RMBT Basketball. Check updates on the tournament's Facebook page closer to the tip off for more updates.

Stay updated with all the information regarding this tournament via it's official website.

April 10, 2013

India’s first-ever National 3x3 Basketball Championship tips off in Delhi

3x3 basketball has existed for pretty much as long as real basketball has, but in recent years, this shortened, quicker format of the game is being pushed to gain more official status and respectability around the world. The world’s governing body of basketball – FIBA – is hoping that their efforts to push FIBA 3x3 will make the format an Olympic sport by 2016.

And this spirit has trickled down to India, too. So much that, for the first time in history, the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) is organizing India’s first ever 3x3 National Basketball Championship for Men & Women on April 10-11 at the Thyagraj Indoor Stadium in New Delhi. A total of 20 Men’s and 16 Women’s teams featuring India’s best senior players from various states across the country will be taking part in the competition. The tournament is being organized in conjunction with the Delhi Basketball Association (DBA).

According to BFI’s CEO Roopam Sharma, the National Tournament for this format of the game will now be held annually in India to keep up with the growth of 3x3 tournaments around the world.

If you haven’t been keeping up, here is a quick recap of the official rules of 3x3: Games will be played on the half-court. Each team can have four players – three on the court and one off the bench. Each field goal is worth one point and a three-pointer is two points. The first team to 21, or the first team leading at the end of 10 minutes, wins. The shot-clock is just 12 seconds long. If scores are tied after 10 minutes there will be overtime, and the first team with a two point lead wins.

The BFI has announced that 40 matches a day will be played at the Thyagraj Stadium in Delhi – on multiple half-courts simultaneously – over the next two days. So if you’re in Delhi, head there now to watch the action!

In preparation for this first-time event, several states across the country have already held state-level 3x3 tournaments to pick their representing teams, including Kerala and Delhi.

The shortened version of the game means that it is nearly impossible to predict which team will shine and go on to lift the first ever trophy. Teams which have dominated India’s 5x5 national tournaments, like Punjab, Uttarakhand, or Indian Railways, Services, Tamil Nadu (Men) or Indian Railways, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, or Kerala (Women) will as usual boast the strongest squads. But a competition like this leaves room for surprises and upsets, and that is essentially the essence of the fun of 3-on-3 half-court play.

India has had some success in 3x3 Basketball in recent years, and relatively, more than they’ve had in the ‘full’ version of the game. India’s Women’s team memorably won the gold medal at the 3x3 Beach Games in China last year. India’s Men and Women both won the gold at the South Asian Beach Games in Sri Lanka in 2011.

This tournament will serve as a platform to pick India’s national 3x3 team for future FIBA competitions. Four top Men and four Women players will be picked to represent India in the First FIBA Asia 3x3 Basketball Championship in Doha (Qatar) for Men from May 15-17 this year and for Women later in June.

BFI CEO Sharma said, “Our endeavour is to maximize the potential of basketball promotion and development in India. These two events are crucial in the growth and popularity of the sport."

A week after the conclusion of the Delhi 3x3 Nationals, the basketball circus will move to Ludhiana (Punjab), where the BFI will be organizing the first ever U18 3x3 National Basketball Championship for Men and Women. That competition will also be held in similar to these nationals and the best performing players will be picked to play for the U18 FIBA Asia 3x3 Basketball Championships in Bangkok (Thailand) from May 22-24, 2013.

Bringing national-level 3x3 Basketball to India, played under official rules and terms, is another major step ahead for Indian basketball. My only hope is that it doesn't overshadow the importance of the more respected and challenging real 5x5 version of the game. In India, 3x3 can introduce a whole new audience to participate in or attend basketball games. It can help in further popularizing the sport in the country and guide our national teams to more success in international competitions.

April 9, 2013

Louisville wins 2013 NCAA National Championship in exciting final game

Down 12 points in the first half, and it seemed that America’s number one seeded college basketball team – Louisville – were going to end their magical year in disappointment. But like they had many times before, the Louisville Cardinals, under Coach Rick Pitino, brought themselves all the way back to outclass the Michigan and win the NCAA National Championship Final 82-76 on Monday in Atlanta. Scoring 22 points off the bench, Luke Hancock was named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, the first substitute to ever win the award.

It was Louisville’s second consecutive double digit deficit and second consecutive win. After Hancock scored 20 points to lead them in a comeback win over Wichita State in the tournament’s semi-final round, he was once again the catalyst in the second half in the Final. Point Guard Peyton Siva added 18 for his side.

Michigan boasted star point guard Trey Burke, who had won several individual honours like the Naismith College Player of the Year Award, the Oscar Robertson Trophy, and the John R. Wooden Award in the lead up to the Final. Although Burke had a limited role in Michigan’s semi-final victory over Syracure, he rose to the challenge in the Final, scoring 24 points to keep his team in contention. Burke was aided by little-used sharpshooter Spike Albrecht, who rose to the occasion in the first half and chipped in 17 points in the game.

Louisville’s Coach Pitino – who was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday – rounded up a memorable week with this win. He became the first coach to win national titles at two different colleges, with his last one coming with Kentucky back in 1996. Pitino also briefly worked in the NBA with the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics in the 80s and late 90s before returning to college basketball with Louisville in 2001.

This was also Louisville’s third ever National Championship victory. The result was even sweeter for the team after they lost guard Kevin Ware to a horrific leg injury in the Elite Eight game against Duke. Pitino was able to instill a true sense of toughness and passion amongst the other players to fight for Ware and celebrate a championship together. Although fourth-seeded Michigan were able to have an impressive offensive start to the game, Louisville returned to their stifling defense to shut off their opponents and end the game as champions.

David Stern in India to launch comprehensive NBA Cares programme

NBA-India Official Press Release - Mumbai: The National Basketball Association (NBA), Multi Screen Media, the NBA’s broadcast partner in India, and Magic Bus, a non-profit organization that works with youth from vulnerable communities, on Monday announced a partnership to develop a comprehensive NBA Cares program in India. Through this partnership, weekly basketball programs will be used to promote education, health, and fitness to boys and girls ages 7-14 starting in June 2013.

The announcement was made today by NBA Commissioner David Stern, Multi Screen Media CEO Manjit Singh, and Magic Bus CEO and Founder Matthew Spacie at a Magic Bus NBA Cares clinic for underprivileged youth at the Mastan YMCA in Mumbai, India.

The event is part of Stern’s first trip to India. The NBA, which opened its first office in Mumbai in 2011, has conducted more than 450 grassroots events in 10 cities in India over the last five years.

Magic Bus and the NBA will identify a community in Mumbai and launch a pilot program for underprivileged youth that will include a jointly-developed basketball curriculum. The program will include intensive weekly sessions that will feature basketball activities and teach life skills in the areas of education, gender equality, health, and fitness. The program is part of Magic Bus' “sport for development” approach that has positively impacted 250,000 children and 8,000 youth across India to date.

“Social responsibility is an important part of our mission,” said Stern. “We are proud to work with our partners at Magic Bus and Multi Screen Media to promote the values inherent to our game -- dedication, discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship -- and the importance of fitness and good health among Indian youth.”

Basketball also will be integrated into existing Magic Bus programs in 12 Indian communities and NBA coaches will conduct basketball and fitness clinics for youth enrolled in each community. NBA legends and players who travel to India in the next year will also participate in clinics for Magic Bus youth.

“We are thrilled to partner with the NBA to pilot a program where we will use basketball as a base for our award-winning ‘sport for development’ curriculum,” said Spacie. “The Magic Bus curriculum works to help provide youth with guidance to make dignified life choices from childhood to adulthood, and integrating basketball as a sport for development can diversify our program benefits to help more and more children learn and grow.”

“We at Multi Screen Media are committed to Magic Bus as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility program,” said Singh. “This is a great collaboration aimed to bring basketball to under privileged children. It will help children compete in a new sport and become active and improve their health. The NBA and Magic Bus will provide a great platform for under privileged children across the country to showcase and nurture their talent.”

Sony SIX, India’s premier sports channel, is aimed at youth in India who are interested in a diverse variety of sports. Sony SIX, together with the NBA, endeavors to inspire youth across India to play basketball and provide them opportunities to excel in the sport. Sony SIX will highlight the achievement of Indian athletes in basketball along with providing exclusive coverage of the NBA in India.

The NBA opened an office in Mumbai in 2011 and has hosted more than 450 events in 10 cities over the last five years.

April 8, 2013

An NBA Guide to long-term relationships

This feature was first published in the 104th edition (2013 - No. 7) of SLAM China Magazine. Here is my original English version of the story.

There was a reason that, after LeBron James decided to leave the Cavaliers to go to Miami, his former fans in Cleveland came out in anger to burn jerseys and tear down banners. A similar, if relatively less harsh response, was felt in Orlando after Dwight Howard made his intentions to bolt from town. These weren’t just simple player-team relationships that left the fans so devastated; this was a true loss of a loved one, of a star that had helped build and grow with a team.

It always hurts when a long relationship ends. It seems nowadays that there is little loyalty to be found in the NBA, as players are traded or leave as free agents on an all-too-regular basis. Stars come and go. Long-term relationships are a rarity.
It’s the 21st century, where people come and go at the speed of need and a person can be found and forgotten in a matter of social media updates. It’s the age where many young relationships don’t last past a few months; the best ones could go for a few years but some don’t even last a few days!

In a time like this, who should we seek to give us good advice, to help us build a long-term relationship? How to find that perfect pairing, and how to keep that pair going for years and years and years?

Thankfully, not all pairings are so short lived, and as the NBA as proven, some players and teams are truly meant for each other. Some players spent their entire career with the same team, playing their first game to their last bearing the name of the same franchise on their jersey, just the way love-stricken couples who always stay together bear a ring for each other. Players like John Stockton, who spent all 19 years of his career with the Utah Jazz. Or Reggie Miller, who spent 18 years with the Indiana Pacers. Dolph Schayes and Hal Greer both spent 15 years each with the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers.

But what is the secret to this longevity? What keeps teams and players loyal to each other for over a decade, or for the player’s entire career? From Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles and Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas, to Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili in San Antonio, we take tips from the NBA’s best relationship scholars. These guys will teach you how to stay along with your team forever!

Kobe Bryant – Relentlessness

Somehow, Kobe Bryant fell to 13th place in the 1996 NBA Draft. The Charlotte Hornets picked him up, but it was the Lakers who were truly love-struck by the teenage prodigy and traded their Center Vlade Divac to acquire him. It was the beginning of long relationship, which was sometimes beautiful and sometimes tumultuous. Despite being lower in the pecking order to the Lakers’ bigger attraction – Shaquille O’Neal – Kobe fought to be the alpha dog in the relationship with the franchise and the fanbase. The result of this love triangle was at first failure, then incredible success, as the Lakers’ won three consecutive championships, a feud, and then an inevitable breakup. The Lakers had made their choice and finally handed the keys to the team solely to Kobe; Shaq was sent to Miami.

By then, Kobe already had the reputation of being the league’s most relentless winner since Michael Jordan. The young man who refused to back down and refused to accept defeat as an option. Unfortunately, without Shaq, even Kobe’s winning attitude couldn’t help the Lakers as they missed they faced many barren years without victory. Times were tough, and there was even a near breakup in the mid-2000s as suitors like the Bulls and the Clippers came calling. But Kobe and the Lakers survived the rough patch, added Pau Gasol to the lineup, and returned to winning ways again.

They have been together 17 years now, and Kobe Bryant is surely set to retire as a Laker for life. Even as the new generation – Dwight Howard – gets introduced into the relationship, this is still surely Kobe’s team. And they will remain so until Kobe himself decides that it’s time to call it quits.

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, & Manu Ginobili – Family Togetherness

Since 1997, there has been but one surety in the basketball world: Tim Duncan and the Spurs will win a lot of games. No matter however much other teams and players change, Duncan and the Spurs stay the same. An injury to their former favourite David Robinson saw the Spurs plummet down the rankings and earn the rights to the Number 1 pick in the 1997 Draft. They immediately drafted the heartthrob that every team in the league had their eyes on: Tim Duncan. Ever since then, Duncan’s developing relationship with Robinson and Coach Gregg Popovich has been the cornerstone for success for this team. Robinson retired after two championships, but Duncan stayed on for lots more individual and team success, and 16 years later, he is still in San Antonio and still contending for the title.

But in this time, the Spurs have been able to add two more invaluable pieces to form a perfect little family of success in San Antonio. From France, they nabbed young point guard Tony Parker, and from Argentina came talented swingman Manu Ginobili. After spending 12 and 11 years with the Spurs respectively, Parker and Ginobili have become almost as important a part to the basketball culture in San Antonio as Duncan. All three bring different characteristics to the dinner table: Duncan has the quiet demeanour of a leader, Parker has the aggressive nature to attack with the ball in his hands, and Ginobili is the wily personality determined to win with any means necessary.

Together, they are one of NBA’s most successful families, and their togetherness is now serving as a model to the future of young Spurs players, like Kawni Leonard and Danny Green. Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili will hope to end their long relationship with the team with at least one more championship.

Dirk Nowitzki – Identity

Founded in 1980, the Dallas Mavericks are a relatively young franchise, and like any young team, struggled to make a mark for themselves in the early years. In the first 20 years of their existence, they only managed to get into the playoffs six times and their best showing was one solitary visit to the Western Conference Finals, back in 1988. Sure, they featured All Stars like Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman, James Donaldson, and Chris Gatling in their first two decades, but this was a team without an identity, a direction, without a future or a past. By 1996-97, they were in full-on transition mode, changing their partners at a hefty pace, and in the course of the season, played 27 different players for their side!

And then came the Good German.

Selected 9th in the 1998 NBA Draft, the Mavericks took a risk in adding the unproven sharp-shooting big man, with a skill-set like none other before him in league history. Nowitzki joined the core of this new look team with Michael Finley and young Steve Nash. As the three young players developed together, things changed for the better in Dallas. The three became the ‘Big Three’, and from 2000 onwards, the Mavericks didn’t miss the playoffs again. Even after the departures of Finley and Nash, the Mavericks continued to build a team around Nowitzki. By 2006, he carried them to the NBA Finals, in 2007 he had an MVP season, and in 2011 he – along with Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler, and Shaun Marion – finally delivered the franchise their first championship after 31 long years.

The Mavericks chose to develop their team’s identity and personality around Nowitzki, who has now been a member of the squad for 15 years! Surrounding players have come and gone, but Nowitzki and the Mavericks have been a perfect couple. He is now 34, and as he ages, the team has slowed down too. This could be the first time that they miss the playoffs in 12 years. But even as they look to a new era, the Mavericks celebrate the man who made them who they are.

Paul Pierce – Heart

If the Mavericks were in search of identity until they found Nowitzki, the Boston Celtics – the most successful franchise in NBA history – were in search of new blood to bring back their old legacy. Picked one spot after Nowitzki in 1998, they found this new blood in Paul Pierce. Pierce made a good impression in his early years in Boston, but it was his bravery in 2000 that began the city’s true, long-lasting love affair with him.

In September 2000, Paul Pierce was involved in a violent altercation, leaving him with 11 stab wounds across his body and requiring him to undergo lung surgery to repair the damage. Astonishingly, the young Pierce showed unbelievable heart and courage to bounce back by the time the season began and become the only Celtic to start all games in the 2000-01 season!

Pierce has been a staple in Boston basketball since: he never gave up on the team despite disappointing results season after season, until the team finally gifted him with two valuable teammates in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. The Celtics Big Three finally brought back a championship to Boston. With time passing, Allen left, Garnett got older, and young Rajon Rondo became the team’s focal point. But Pierce remains as the heart and soul of the team and is still their best offensive option.

Dwyane Wade – Star Attraction

By the end of this season, Dwyane Wade – drafted back in 2003 – would’ve completed a full decade in Miami. Part of the stellar 2003 Draft Class, Wade has seen other stars drafted in the same year change jerseys, such as LeBron and Bosh moving from Cleveland and Toronto respectively to Miami, and Carmelo Anthony moving from Denver to New York. But unlike the other tragic breakups, Wade’s romantic story with the Heat has continued despite their ups and downs and now, they’re enjoying the best stretch of their time together.

Through injury and success, through MVP teammates and through struggles, through the league’s worst records and through championships, Wade and the Heat have survived their time together. How was he able to do it? Perhaps it’s because of Wade’s magical charms over other NBA superstars, who are more than happy to come and play with him in sunny South Beach. In 2004, with Shaquille O’Neal was traded from Los Angeles, he was glad that Miami kept the young Wade to play alongside him. In a couple of years, Wade had outgrown even Big Shaq to bring the team their first championship and himself a Finals MVP award. Four years later, Wade attracted two more stars to Miami – LeBron James and Chris Bosh – and together, this new Big Three has been to the NBA Finals twice, won a championship, and created a historic winning streak this season.

Wade’s brilliance in Miami has perhaps masked the efforts of another player signed by the Heat in 2003 who has also spent his entire NBA career with the Heat: Udonis Haslem. Wade and Haslem have stuck together with the Heat for two championships. While LeBron James is now the team and the league’s MVP, it is Wade who has brought the stars to Miami who will always be the Heat’s deepest love affair.

Time changes, generations pass, and old ways give in to the new. But as these long-time loyal players have shown, it is still possible to be a one-team player for a decade or more in the NBA. It is still possible to forge a relationship through passion, heart, and mutual respect, can stand the test of time. One thing that all these players have in common is that they have been able to deliver at least one championship to their respective teams.

Hopefully, their example can spawn many more youngsters with hopes to form long-term relationships in the NBA!

April 5, 2013

Delhi Basketball Association to host 3x3 Basketball Championships on April 7

With India's first Senior and U18 National 3x3 Basketball Championships in the near-horizon, the Delhi Basketball Association (DBA) will prepare to pick its participating Men's and Women's participating teams in both competitions with a 3x3 championship at the KD Jadhav Hall at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in the city on Sunday, April 7, 2013.

This will be the first such event organized by the DBA in New Delhi. According to a news report today in the Times of India, more than 40 teams in the Senior Men, Senior Women, U18 Men, and U18 Women categories will participate from various clubs, colleges, and schools across the nation's capital. The event is free and open to all audiences to attend who are interested in experiencing high-level 3x3 action. Matches will be held from 9 AM - 7 PM all day on Sunday.

With FIBA heavily promoting the 3x3 format for international competitions (and perhaps even the 2016 Olympics), this shorter, quicker format of the game has been gaining a lot of traction across the world in recent years.

The numerous matches that will be played in Delhi on Sunday will be observed by the Delhi Basketball Association's Selection Committee to scout for talent to represent Delhi State in the Senior and U18 National 3x3 championships. Delhi will be hosting India's first ever national 3x3 basketball championship at the Thyagraj Stadium on April 10-11, 2013, and Ludhiana (Punjab) will host the first U18 3x3 championship on April 18-19. In preparation different state federations across the country are hosting 3x3 tournaments before next week, including the one in Delhi on Sunday and in Kerala as well.

The two National Championships will further serve as scouting grounds to select individuals to represent India at the 1st FIBA ASIA 3x3 Championships.

April 3, 2013

BFI invites candidates to apply as India's National Basketball Coaches

The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) announced today that they will be accepting applications from candidates around the country hoping to join the National Coaching programme, both for Men and Women. While the BFI hasn't clarified what positions the candidates will be applying for, there could be numerous opportunities available for coaching in the various age levels (U18, U16 etc.) for both Men and Women, and as Assistant or perhaps even as Head Coaches.

Of course, it won't be all that easy. Applicants who will be considered for the jobs will be chosen only if they pass the following qualifications (via BFI website). The applicant must:

1. Be aged between 45 to 65 years (Why the ageism?)
2. Have qualified as basketball coach from N.I.S. or equivalent.
3. Have participated in at least three Senior National Basketball Championships as a player.
4. Have over 15 years of experience as a basketball coach. (level not specified)
5. Have coached at least 5 teams which participated in the National Basketball Championships. (I'm assuming this can qualify even the same state team for five different years).
6. Have experience of coaching at least one Indian National Team which participated in the either the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games or Asian Basketball Championships.
7. Be a graduate from a recognized University.

It is a tough set of qualifiers, and I'm assuming that the BFI chose its national coaches in the past on similar terms. Still, it is nice to see that they are clarifying their selection process and making it known openly to any coach who has the ability and/or the qualifications. In addition, the qualifications above can also serve as a good benchmark for young coaches to aim at who dream of being part of India's National Basketball system.

Coaches can submit their applications to the BFI through email, fax, post, or by hand (check the BFI website for their contact information) latest by April 8, 2013. The BFI recommends that applicants get their applications recommended by their State Secretaries before submission. Remember also to include additional qualifications, training courses, International/National participation and medals winning certificates, papers written, and any other significant achievements to the application.

In September last year, the BFI named American Scott Flemming - former NBDL Coach - as the Head Coach of India's Senior National Men's side. New coaches could get a chance to work besides him. This is a particularly important year for India's National teams, as a large number of international basketball tournaments will be held in the coming months. The biggest tournament will be the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, slated to be held in Lebanon in August. The FIBA Asia Championship for Women will also be held this year, as will the FIBA Asia Championships for Youth (U16) Boys and Girls in separate events. In addition, the 2nd Asian Youth Games are set to be held in Nanjing (China) and India may have an opportunity to take part in the basketball competition at the event. For all the international tournaments, it is likely that India will be in qualifying tournaments against South Asian rivals back on home soil.

April 2, 2013

Kozhikode to host Kerala's Youth Basketball Championship & Junior 3x3 Basketball Championship

The Kerala Basketball Association has announced that the city of Kozhikode is set to play host to two exciting basketball championships over the next week. The 30th Kerala State Youth Basketball Championship will be held from April 2-7, 2013 and the inaugural 1st Kerala State 3x3 Junior Basketball Championship will be held on April 6-7. Both competitions will be held in the boys' and girls' divisions.

Games will be held at the Silver Hill Indoor Stadium in Kozhikode. The championships are being held for the Sam Joseph, Shahil Muhammed, and Velandi Achu Master Memorial KBA tropies. A total of 14 teams each in both the boys' and girls' divisions have been chosen for the Kerala Youth Championship. The participating teams are:


Pool A: Kozhikode, Thrissur, Thiruvanathapuram, Pathanamthitta.
Pool B: Ernakulum, Kottayam, Kannur, Kasargod.
Pool C: Alapuzha, Wayanad, Malapuram.
Pool D: Kollum, Idukki, Palakkad.


Pool A: Kozhikode, Kollum, Ernakulam, Alapuzha.
Pool B: Kottayam, Thrissur, Thiruvanathapuram, Kannur.
Pool C: Pathanamthitta, Malapuram, Palakkad.
Pool D: Kasargod, Wayanad, Idukki.

The top three teams from Pools A and B and top teams from Pools C and D will qualify for the knockout round, which will begin on April 5.

Hosts Kozhikode are the reigning champions in both divisions. The teams to represent Kerala State at the National Youth Basketball Championship in Kolkata (West Bengal) from April 30 - May 7 will be determined on their performance at this tournament.

India is also holding its first ever national-level 3x3 basketball championships this year. The Junior (U18) National 3x3 Championship is set to be held in Ludhiana (Punjab) on April 18-19. Kerala's team for the tournament will be picked from the state-level performances at Kozhikode.

On April 6, Kozhikode basketball legends will be honoured at the event by PJ Sunny, the Chairman of the Kerala State Selection Committee.

April 1, 2013

NBA Fools Day

“An NBA Championship is like your chachi’s aloo-parathas,” said 11 time champion Bill Russell, “No matter how many you eat, chachijee thinks you’re always hungry for more.”

Hey guys! It’s the first day of April. So bring out your lamest jokes and stupidest quotes and let’s have a pick-up ball-game out of it, shall we? For one day a year, NBA reality inverts upon itself, and we get left over with some of the most intriguing breaking faking news stories of the hoops world. Catch up all before they’re vetoed for basketball reasons.

Click here to read full feature