August 31, 2015

Hundreds join Indian Basketball Players Association for 'Dribblathon' in New Delhi

Photo credit: Ekalavyas
Imagine the scene in front of one of India's most iconic monuments, the India Gate. Imagine a beautiful clear morning in the nation's capital in New Delhi. Imagine some of the country's most legendary basketball players with young enthusiasts just a day after the National Sports Day at this venue. And finally, imagine hundreds of basketballs being dribbled to showcase that the nation is ready for a hoops revolution.

Now imagine, all those images coming to reality.

On Sunday, August 30, the Indian Basketball Players Association (IBPA) organized the first-ever 'Dribblathon', held between the India Gate and the Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi. About 400 basketball players, including former stars, school and college students showed up to participate in the event. The young players dribbled a basketball for about a kilometer to support basketball and drive home the point of healthy living, wrote The Hindu.

Photo credit: Ekalavyas
The event featured Arjuna awardees Surender Khataria, Ajmer Singh, Suman Sharma, former India captains Jayasankar Menon, Shiba Maggon, Divya Singh, Pratima Singh, Prashanti Singh, and other international players like Roopam Mongia, Vidya Ramnarayanan, Balakrishnan, Harish Mayor and Anil Gulati. The Noida-based Dribble Academy also held a dribbling demonstration.

August 27, 2015

Team India heads to Wuhan for 2015 FIBA Asia Women's Championship - Roster, schedule, & preview


For the Chinese, Wuhan is the capital of the Hubei province and the most populous city in central China. For the Indians, especially those sprinkled with flavours of hoops, the city has stood for some positive fortune in recent years. In 2011, Wuhan hosted the FIBA Asia Baksetball Championship, where 15-year-old Satnam Singh made his Senior ABC debut, four years before becoming the first Indian drafted to the NBA. Last year, in the FIBA Asia Cup at Wuhan, India's men's team gained their biggest victory ever, defeating hosts China in a game that I have since dubbed the 'Wonder of Wuhan'.

Photo Courtesy: Ekalavyas / BFI
Starting this weekend, India will be hoping that their strange basketball kinship with this city extends to the Women's side as well.

India's Senior Women's Basketball team has departed for China to take part in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship for Women (FIBA Women's ABC), set to be held in Wuhan from August 29 to September 5. Japan will return as the tournament's reigning champions and look to defend their trophy. A total of 12 teams will take part in the competition, divided into two 'Levels' of six teams each.

Two years ago, at the 2013 FIBA Women's ABC, India made history under Spanish Coach Francisco Garcia, by winning their first-ever Level 1 game and finishing at a best-ever fifth place. Garcia has returned as the Women's team coach with a younger squad this year for Wuhan with hopes to retain their position in the top level, where they will play against Asia's Big Four (Japan, Korea, China, Chinese Taipei) and Thailand. Teams that finish in the top four of Level 1 advance to the semi-final stage while 5th and 6th place teams compete in playoff games against the top two teams of Level II to fight for their top level placement for the tournament's next iteration in two years.

"I would be very happy if we can keep the spot in Level 1," Garcia told the Hoopdarshan podcast, "Doesn't matter if it's the fifth or sixth position. I would be really really happy with number five, but the main goal is to keep the spot in Level 1. Right now, we know the situation with Indian Basketball. Here, the situation is not very clear yet, and it effects everything. It effects players, it effects coaches, the work, everything. And then, of course, the preparation was not the best. Four and a half weeks, compared to teams who are already working since three or four months ago. But anyways, we are going to go over there and I'm pretty sure that we will have a good result. We are working well. My only fear right now is the conditioning - not the basketball. The girls know my system more or less very well."

The participating teams in the tournament are:
  • Level I: Japan, Korea, China, Chinese Taipei, India, Thailand.
  • Level II: Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Philippines, North Korea, Sri Lanka.
Team India Roster for 2015 FIBA Asia Championship for Women
  • Anjana PG
  • Stephy Nixon
  • Poojamol KS
  • Smruthi Radhakrishnan
  • Kavita Akula
  • Jenna PS
  • Shireen Limaye
  • Bhandavya HM
  • Apporva Muralinath
  • Rajapriyadarshani Rajaganapathi
  • Anitha Paul Durai
  • Sitamani Tudu
  • Head Coach: Francisco Garcia
  • Assistan Coach: Aparna Ghosh
Team India's Preliminary Round Schedule - all timings IST
  • Aug 29 - 12:30 PM - Chinese Taipei vs. India.
  • Aug 30 - 3 PM - Japan vs. India.
  • Aug 31 - 5 PM - China vs. India.
  • Sep 1 - 12:30 PM - India vs. Thailand.
  • Sep 2 - 12:30 PM - India vs. Korea.
Air Asia is sponsoring the Indian team’s participation at the event. Basketball Federation of India (BFI) President K Govindaraj distributed the team kits and thanked Mittu Chandilya, AIR Asia MD and CEO for his support to India Basketball. Addressing the players, Govindraj said, "We all have put in a lot of effort in the training camp. Now it is up to you to bring laurels to the country. I wish all the players, coaches and manager all the best."

"We want to promote sports the right way," said Chandilya, "Basketball in India is at the time when it needs help and is full of opportunity, especially now that there is an Indian in the NBA. The sponsorship is not just for the women’s team but for all teams."

Leading the team is seven-time Asian Championship player Anitha Paul Durai, who successfully regained match fitness after missing out most of last year due to motherhood. Paul Durai had first joined the senior national team way back in 2001 at the age of 15. "I have captained the side in 2005 and then in the 2012 Asian Beach Games where we won gold." said Paul Durai. "This time everyone is junior than me but the positive is that everyone will listen to me. Our goal is to maintain 5th position by beating Thailand."

Other familiar names include Kerala forwards Jeena PS, Poojamol KS, Smruthi Radhakrishnan (who plays for Railways) and Stephy Nixon. Young Maharashtra forward Shireen Limaye marks her comeback from injury and will be expected, along with Paul Durai, to provide much-needed play-making abilities to the side.

"Since some of the senior players such as Prashanti Singh, Geethu Anna Jose and Raspreet Sidhu are missing there is definitely more pressure on me," said Limaye. "Last time around I was the sixth player. Now I will be playing from the start, so it will be harder but I enjoy the additional responsibility."

While the team is confident of their abilities, the Head Coach has been cautious and realistic to temper expectations after a short build-up to the tournament and the relative inexperience of the team. Still, Indian fans will be hoping that at the very least India can remain in Level I, ideally finish at fifth place, and if another wonder can be possible in Wuhan, perhaps sneak into the semi-final for the first time ever!
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August 26, 2015

Hoopdarshan Episode 15: India at the FIBA Asia Championship for Women with Head Coach Francisco Garcia‏

Photo Courtesy: Ekalavyas / BFI
As we countdown the days to the 2015 FIBA Asia Basketball Championship for Women in Wuhan (China), hosts Kaushik Lakshman and Karan Madhok of the Hoopdarshan podcast couldn't find better company than the Head Coach of Team India himself, Francisco Garcia. Two years after he guided India to a best-ever fifth-place finish, Garcia gives us a detailed preview of what the Indian attack will look like at Wuhan, his expectations of the team's rising new stars, and his 2nd India Bucket List before he returns home to Spain.

Garcia, who was a guest on Hoopdarshan on Episode 5 a few months ago, returns to our podcast in an episode filled with both intelligent insight and some pointless banter. Garcia touches on several more topics with us, including without the services of the legendary Geethu Anna Jose, the team's preparation for their upcoming Asian opponents, and potentially trying re gan mian in Wuhan.

Hoopdarshan aims to be the true voice of Indian basketball, and since we're such hopeless fans of the game, it will become the voice of everything basketball related we love, from the NBA to international hoops, too. On every episode of Hoopdarshan, we will be inviting a special guest to interview or chat to about a variety of topics. With expert insight from some of the brightest and most-involved people in the world of Indian basketball, we hope to bring this conversation to a many more interested fans, players, and followers of the game.

Make sure to follow Hoopdarshan on Soundcloud or search for 'Hoopdarshan' on the iTunes Store! Auto-sync Hoopdarshan to your preferred podcast app NOW!

Hoopdarshan can be found on...

    August 25, 2015

    India's Amrit Pal Singh and Amjyot Singh signed by Tokyo Excellence of Japan's Basketball D-League


    Amrit Pal Singh and Amjyot Singh have been tethered together for years. The two big men share a common state of origin (Punjab), a common family name (Singh), a common front-court in India's Men's Senior National Basketball team, and even common controversies. Earlier this year, Amrit Pal and Amjyot - starters for India's NT and two of the best basketball players that the nation has to offer - took their talents overseas to play together, in the same team, in Japan's BJ Summer League.

    And now, still tethered together, Amrit Pal Singh (7-foot) and Amjyot Singh (6-foot-9) - both 23 - have taken another step towards making history. After impressive performances for Hyogo Impulse of the BJ Summer League from June to August 2015, the two bigs are heading off to a bigger city and a bigger league. The two Indian players have been signed on one-year contracts by Tokyo Excellence of the Japan's National Basketball Development League (NBDL). The NBDL was established in 2013 as a second-tier league below Japan's National Basketball League.

    Tokyo Excellence has been the team with the best record in NBDL’s brief history, having won both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 championships. The team has active participation in hometown activities and events, including visits to schools and mentoring young basketball teams.

    The period of their contracts is from 1st September 2015 to 31st March 2016. Expressing their happiness over the new opportunity, Amjyot and Amrit Pal said that they felt blessed and will look to do their best to make India proud.

    The young cagers have been mainstays of the Indian Men’s National Team over the past two years, leading them to the historic, first ever victory over China in 2014 during the 5th FIBA Asia Cup held in Wuhan, China. Having learnt the fundamentals of the game at Ludhiana Basketball Academy under late Coach Dr. S. Subramaniam, the duo quickly developed their game and became vital to the Indian National Team’s success.

    This significant move has been made possible by the behind-the-scenes effort put in by their managers, Rohit Bakshi (from YounGuns) and DIME Initiatives, along with well-respected Internationally Certified FIBA Agent Toshi Koga of Japan. “I’m just so happy that these kids are making India proud in Japan," Bakshi said, "These kids were trained in India and are showcasing their training at a high level. The Indian basketball fraternity needs to support them and help them get further by all means!”

    Search 'Indian basketball player' internationally and the hype and results will likely point you to one name: Satnam Singh Bhamara, the first Indian citizen to be drafted into the NBA. But, while the 19-year-old Punjabi giant attempts to wade his way into America (and the world's) best basketball league through their Development League system, a couple of other Punjabi giants out of India are well on their way to scripting respectable professional careers for themselves internationally.

    Even though they start this new professional chapter of their careers next week, Amrit Pal and Amjyot won't be deserting their national team responsibilites anytime soon. They have already discussed with their new club that they will be available to lead Team India's campaign at the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship - the biggest tournament that India's national team participates in - from September 23 to October 3 in Changsha, China. Althoug they were unavailable for India's practice and qualification for this tournament, their return will be a big boost for the team's campaign in China next month.

    This is fantastic news for Amrit Pal and Amjyot, who are entering uncharted territory for Indian basketball players. India doesn't have its own full-time professional basketball league, and the players are right in their decision to make the most of their talents at a professional level whenever such an opportunity arises. Hopefully, they can continue rising up the ranks of Japanese basketball and their performances at the D-League earn them an opportunity with Japan's National Basketball League, too.

    And hopefully, the inseparable superstars can continue on the path to success as they always have: together.
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    August 19, 2015

    Basketball Federation of India to implement Instant Replay System

    India's FIBA Commissioner and experienced referee Norman Isaac told The Hindu's A. Joseph Antony a few days ago of the Basketball Federation of India's (BFI) plans to implement an Instant Replay System (IRS) - like the DRS in Cricket or Goal-Line Technology in Football - to eliminate human error from officiating in the game of basketball. The IRS will use more enhanced technology than ever before to ease the work of referees and officials at major Indian basketball games.

    Around the world, technology has begun to aide decision-making and reduce human error in sports. Recently, the NBA even launched a special Replay Center to Secaucus which uses high-definition cameras to aide the decisions of referees on the ground itself.

    The IRS was first introduced to Indian players and coaches through a clinic at last year's Senior National Basketball Championship in Bhilwara, Rajasthan. "This was to enable players and officials from all states assembled for the country’s premier event learn the latest rules and avoid their misinterpretation," Isaac, who is also the chairman of the BFI's Technical Commission, told The Hindu.

    More from The Hindu's report

    It works as follows: An IRS official, sometimes seated with table officials, monitors the action based on live footage from six cameras set up at strategic locations around and above the court. Replay reviews are conducted after gathering as much information as possible from valid sources. While decision-making will be collective, powers are vested with the referee to deliver the verdict.
    Whether a review is required in the first place will be his choice. The revaluation must be conducted as fast as possible, during which no unauthorised person must have access to the IRS Visual Display Unit. After the assessment, the referee shall make known his decision in front of the scorer’s table, which, if necessary, will be communicated to the two teams’ coaches.
    In case of disagreement, the referee may consult the umpire(s), table officials and the commissioner, if he is present, to take a final decision.

    In FIBA’s constant quest to keep pace with the changing times, this innovation will have far reaching implications. The review process will extend to a) end of period or extra period, b) last two minutes of the fourth quarter or extra period, c) any given time during the contest.
    To find out whether a field goal attempt is successful, a check is made on whether the ball is released before any foul is called, or game or shot clock signals are sounded. The vigil will also be on violations concerning the shot clock, the eight-second limit and the area of play.
    Also under IRS purview will be whether a field goal was a two or three-pointer, who the last player was to cause the ball to go out of bounds, identifying the correct free throw shooter and those involved in fights or leaving the bench area, and the appropriate penalty to be handed out. It will also ensure the main game clock does not stop after the officials blow the whistle, and it does not start running before the ball is in play to define how much time actually expired and how much remains in the period.

    Any one who has ever played in local level (and often, even national level) tournaments in India has at some point suffered an unfair decision at the hands of referees. Often, those decisions are clear human errors: the referees can't see and hear everything on a busy basketball court perfectly at all times and must make many decisions on limited knowledge and instinct. But sometimes, a pre-game agenda to favour a certain team (through favour or threat) leads some referees to make questionable decisions, too. The new IRS should help enhance the physical short-comings of the refs and keep them honest in case of any purposeful wrongdoing with visual evidence of the play.

    There was no indication of how soon the new system will begin to effect basketball tournaments in India, but we hope that they are ready by this year's Senior Nationals (likely to fall in December).

    August 18, 2015

    How to choose a favourite NBA team: An infallible guide for the Indian fan

    This article was first published in my column for Ekalavyas on August 4, 2015. Click here to read the original post.

    Photo Courtesy: Ekalavyas

    Hey you! Yes, you, my faithful reader. My companion through words and internet clicks. I’m addressing you all. All of you, drop what you’re doing (unless it’s a basketball, in which case, drop it and dribble it back up) and listen.

    We know that – even as Indians – we are all different. We speak dozens – if not hundreds – of different languages. We argue over Amir, Shah Rukh, or Salman. We throw leg spins and off spins. Some prefer Gulab Jamuns to Rasgullas. Among us our Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, atheists, and those who only believe in the Holy Church of Michael Jordan. We travel by planes, sleeper trains, auto-rickshaws, and bail gadis. Some of us love Butter Chicken, some love Mutton Sukka, and many will politely ask you to refrain the meat in favour of the humble daal and subzi, thank you very much.

    And yet, if you’re here, then we all have one thing in common, and that is the game of basketball.

    A little over a month ago, Satnam Singh became the first Indian citizen to be drafted into the NBA. Satnam’s draft rights have gone to the Dallas Mavericks, one of the 30 franchises in the world’s most exciting and talented basketball league. Back home in India, the NBA has seen an unbelievable rise in e-commerce sales over the last year, and the number keeps rising. With more games than ever on TV, more followers from India on the league’s social media accounts, and more direct interaction between the NBA and Indian fans, we Indians have become one of target market for the NBA’s future.

    But, as you already know, my dear reader, we Indians – even among NBA fans – are not all alike. And therefore, our NBA fandom will be as different as night and day or Gulab Jamuns and Rasgullas, too.

    In North America, choosing NBA fandom is relatively simpler. If you’re from a city or live in a city that has a pro basketball team, you usually pick that team. If you live near a city that has a pro basketball team and have access to their arena, you usually pick that team. If the star of your college or from your state plays for an NBA team, maybe you divert your fandom towards that team. Or sometimes, like everywhere else in the world, you pick your team simply by following your favourite player.

    But what about basketball fans internationally? And specifically, fans in India? Until Satnam Singh actually makes his debut in a Dallas Mavericks jersey – which is a possibility but far from a guarantee – what team should we pick as our favourite? Fans in India are over 10,000 kilometers on the other side of the world to New York, Los Angeles, San Antonio, or Miami. For most of us, the home city a player plays for hardly matters: we can only relate with what happens inside an NBA arena, and nothing else.

    Established fans are already steadfast about their choices. India has a large number of Lakers fans (mostly from the Kobe/Shaq and the continuing Kobe era), Bulls fans (because everyone loves Lord Jordan, and the D-Rose era has been nice too), Celtics fans (to balance out the Lakers, and the recent Big Three era), Spurs fans (all they do is win) and fans of whatever LeBron does. With the average Indian NBA fan getting more immersed in the league as ever, fans of the Thunder, Clippers, and of course, the reigning champion Warriors have emerged. And then there are fans like me who love the Knicks and inexplicably decide that self-flagellation is truly the quickest way to basketball nirvana.

    But I’m talking to you, undecided, or new NBA fan in India. Let’s find you an NBA team that fits your exact life configuration. Consider this a of basketball match-making; we’ll find you a team that fits your kundli and personality perfectly. Some of the explanations may be confusing, but I implore you, dear reader, to have faith and just go with it.

    Are you big city kid who likes success as much as you like dramatic soap operas? Would you watch basketball if Abhishek Bachchan and other celebrities watched it, too? You my friend, sound like an ideal Los Angeles Lakers fan. Good or bad, this bandwagon is never boring.

    Are you similar to the person above, but instead have watched flop movies most of your life, and suddenly, those flops have a bigger budget and are doing better than the previous Bollywood stars? Do you like Gurgaon? Your team is the Los Angeles Clippers. Enjoy the hype and suffer the curse.

    Do you hate everything about Bollywood and showbiz? Are you a grown adult who had 90 percent of his best experiences in college, and still can’t help but remind everyone about it? You need to start following the Boston Celtics, the antitheses to the showbiz Lakers but equally as successful. The only problem: most of their success came decades ago.

    Do you like Goa, hanging out at the beach, and finding parties? Are you feeling hot all the time? Are you only considering to adopt an NBA team when they’re popular, and are happy partying with your friends in ignorance when they’re not? Consider the Miami Heat.  

    Do you really, really love EsselWorld, even as an adult, and even if most of your experiences there were horrible experiences? It’s time you picked the team in America’s amusement park capital, the Orlando Magic. The ride will be mostly forgettable and puke-y, but every once in a while, the roller-coaster will go really high (Shaq, Dwight).

    Were you the quiet guy in class who didn’t speak to anyone, came 1st every year, got into a good college, came 1st again, did some amazing and wonderful things, and still didn’t speak to anyone? Did you grew up somewhere like Dehradun, Allahabad, or Visakhapatnam? You sound like a San Antonio Spurs fan. Words are overrated, anyways. Go out and win.

    Are you just like the person above, except you’re just not good enough? Are you adept at doing a good job at work without attracting too much attention to yourself? Maybe you should settle for the Atlanta Hawks

    You buy Tata Sky. It works extremely well for a few days, but then it breaks down, and the mechanics can’t fix it. You switch to AirTel, Hathway, DEN, and everything else, and the same happens, so much so that you now expect every good cable service to eventually fail you. Did you have a chance to switch to the greatest and most reliable cable service of All Time but instead settled for Sam Bowie? Hi there, Portland Trail Blazers fan.

    For years, you have stood out from the rest of your gang as being the tough guy, the guy who doesn’t complain about his conditions and doesn’t believe in getting too fancy. You travel by Sleeper or General class on the train and actually like being stuck in traffic jams. Unfortunately, Detroit Pistons fan, your latest traffic jam doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon.

    Are you a math wizard? Do you apply advanced concepts of calculus to everything from designing new computer hardware to sharing the payment for a plate of samosas with your friends? Despite your intellectual advantages, do you flop and complain to get your way done? Let me introduce you to Moreyball, James Harden, and the Houston Rockets

    Every day, you are wearing a suit and riding the Mumbai Local with a newspaper in your hand. You criticize every news item you read on the way. Every day, the train breaks down, you get late for work, and you spill a cup of chai all over your suit. You are angry at yourself, but for some reason, you convince yourself and everyone around you that the next day will be better. It never is. Join the New York Knicks.

    You are from a small town and have gone tired of the limited opportunities. But suddenly, over the past few years, a number of good-looking girls (or boys, if that is your preference) move into your town. The nearest CafĂ© Coffee Day is buzzing. It’s a good time to become a Milwaukee Bucks fan.

    If you are the same as above, except that the new attractive people in your town are supermodels and all of them have unibrows. New Orleans Pelicans. Those CCDs are about to get insane.

    You are the nicest guy whose favourite novel is Chetan Bhagat’s “Half Girlfriend” because you can totally relate to being in a friend-zone relationship. You still haven’t asked that girl out; the flirting has gone pretty well, and although you get angry and emotional every once in a while, you are mostly harmless to her. The Toronto Raptors will suit you really well.

    Your girlfriend was nice to you, but she’s been wanting to leave for a better guy for years. Finally, you stop resisting, but instead of spending your single-hood in depression, you find the company of younger, more interesting girls. Life still isn’t any better, but it’s looking up. Pick the Minnesota Timberwolves.  

    You are from a small city, and the most beautiful girl in the city was your girlfriend. She even went on to become Miss India. Unfortunately, she was unhappy with you and left you to hang out with the guy who parties in Goa a lot. You hated her for four years, but after partying a lot with other famous friends, she decided to come back to you, and you have accepted her with open arms. Things are going pretty well for now (until she leaves you again). Look up the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Instead of buying a great new car, do you like to upgrade your old car with expensive old pieces that don’t fit together very well? Does your car look good but give really bad mileage? You may be able to relate to the plight of Brooklyn Nets fans right now.

    You probably live in a hill-station like Shimla, Mussoorie, or Nainital. You love to go on treks, and whenever your friends visit, they have a hard time breathing. Have all your hometown friends with potential left for opportunities to other cities? It’s only right that you pick the Denver Nuggets.

    You are from a hill-station, too, and once upon a time, it was popular for having the best hotels and boarding schools in the country. But hardly anyone visits anymore, dear Utah Jazz fan. That Eiffel Tower replica looks nice on Mall Road, though.

    Once, you were one of the healthiest and most active people in your friends circle. But you ate a suspect-looking plate of Chhola-Batura off the street and now you’re really sick. For the last three years, you keep eating that same Chhola-Batura and you haven’t stopped puking. Welcome to the world of the Philadelphia 76ers.

    Whenever you read the Mahabharata, you can’t help but imagine how great it would’ve been if Arjun and Karan were on the same side instead of fighting each other. Imagine how unstoppable they would be? Of course, the coach (Krishna) will probably need to figure out a way to make sure there were enough arrows in the quiver for both of them. Try Durant and Westbrook in the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    You love Sachin Tendulkar so much that you support every team he ever played for domestically (Mumbai, Mumbai Indians) and worship him internationally for Team India. Life without Sachin was tough for you, but his successors could give you similar joys if they stopped getting hurt so much. Since you love the best ever, you’ll probably like Michael Jordan, too. And you’ll love the team he was forever associated with: the Chicago Bulls

    Sachin Tendulkar decided to run your family business, and it’s not going well. Charlotte Hornets.

    You are a man’s man. You subscribe to Maxim, FHM, and Men’s World magazines, ride around a bullet, and haven’t shaved your beard for years. Your favourite ‘Jungle Book’ character is Baloo the Bhalu. Nothing but the Memphis Grizzlies will suffice.

    You go into theatre to watch the newest star-studded film, but just before the final act, there is a power cut and you miss the ending. For some reason, his keeps happening to you over and over again. You enjoy the comedic beginnings, romantic moments, and the item numbers, but the last action scene and conclusion remains elusive. These days, those power cuts are happening before intermission. Join the Phoenix Suns.

    Although you love your ghar ka khana – your mom’s simple home-cooked meals – sometimes to strive for something more exciting. Unfortunately, the last time you came close to a fancy restaurant, there was a brawl. You returned to your daal back home. Try the Indiana Pacers.

    Have you had the best year ever? Did you get a promotion at work, buy a new car, finish every level of Angry Birds, and got more Facebook ‘likes’ on your profile pic than ever before? Good for you. Now stop being smug and start supporting the Golden State Warriors.

    You are from New Delhi and probably spend your days driving around India Gate, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and the Red Fort. When you go back home, however, you end up fighting for a parking spot with that annoying uncle who keeps puncturing people’s tires. Welcome to the Washington Wizards fan club.

    You travel to exotic corners of the world, have access to interesting culinary delights, and you only crave Indian food, no matter how bad it is, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, after all. You like eating at these bad Indian restaurants with one good dish. Join the Sacramento Kings. Hopefully, Indian owner Vivek Ranadive, Indo-Canadian player Sim Bhullar, and DeMarcus Cousins can add some masala to those flavourless dishes soon.

    Are you the type of Indian who doesn’t like to see other Indian be successful? Then bugger off. To everyone else, there are the Dallas Mavericks. Sure, they feature an All Time legend (Dirk Nowitzki) and won a championship just four years ago. But the real reason for you to pay attention is that this is the team that drafted the first Indian to the NBA, Satnam Singh. Get ready to wear your tiranga flag and stand up and sing the Jana-Gana-Mana… with the Mavericks. Unless Satnam doesn’t ever make the team, in which case, you have 29 other teams to choose from!

    August 17, 2015

    Doha (Qatar) win 2015 FIBA 3x3 Beijing Masters; Indian teams knocked out early

    It took a dramatic buzzer-beating winner in overtime by Dominic Jones to help Doha (Qatar) defeat their Slovenian opponents and seal the winner's trophy at the 2015 FIBA 3x3 Beijing Masters, an international 3x3 basketball tournament held at the Wukesong Hi-Park in Beijing (China) on August 15-16. India also sent two teams to this championship but both of them failed to make it past the tournament's first round.

    On Sunday, August 16, Doha defeated Ljubljana from Slovenia in a nail-biting finale of the two-day tournament, 22-20, on the back of Jones' buzzer-beating shot.

    Earlier on Sunday, Doha defeated UAE's Novi Sad Al Wahda 21-15 to punch in their ticket for the final, while Ljubljana silenced the home crowd with a 21-14 victory over Wukesong (China).

    Wukesong's Chris Reaves scored 42 points over the two days to end as the top scorer of the Beijing 3x3 Masters.

    India's two 3x3 teams - Chandigarh and Bangalore - were both knocked out of the tournament on its first day, after the group stage.

    Team Bangalore was the squad which represented India at the 2015 3x3 South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) Qualifiers in Colombo earlier this month. Bangalore's first game was against home team Zheng Zhou of China. Despite keeping up with their opponents most of the game, Bangalore lost the final few points to go down 21-18. They played their next game against UAE's high-ranked squad Novi Sad Al Wahda, who won the game 21-13. Bangalore ended the tournament at ninth place.

    Team Chandigarh was the squad which won gold as 'Punjab Warriors' at the 2014 NBA Jam Nationals Finals in Pune last December. They lost their first game to Tokyo (Japan) 21-12 and second one to hosts Wukesong 21-13. Chandigarh ended the tournament at 11th place.

    The highest scoring Indian player was Jeevanantham Pandi of Bangalore, who finished with 17 points in his two games.

    20-year-old Kushmeet Atwal from Chandigarh shone in the shootout contest by topping the qualification round. In the finals he finished third behind Dusan Domovic Bulut of Novi Sad Al Wahda and Xu Liu of Beijing. The other Indian in the fray, Siddhant Shinde from Team Bangalore failed to make it past the qualification stage.

    Chandigarh’s Arshdeep Dhillon and Bangalore's Jeevanantham Pandi took part in the dunk contest but neither qualified for the knockout stages. The contest was eventually won by Jordan Kilganon of Canada.

    2015 FIBA 3x3 Beijing Masters Final Standings
    • 1. Doha (Qatar)
    • 2. Ljubljana (Slovenia)
    • 3. Novi Sad Al Wahda (UAE)
    • 4. Wukesong (China)
    • 5. Tokyo (Japan)

    August 16, 2015

    Indian Army and Chhattisgarh win All India Basketball Tournaments in Coimbatore

    Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu once again hosted its annual monsoon basketball fiesta, two All India invitational tournaments for Men and Women. On Saturday August 15, while the rest of India celebrated the 69th anniversary of Independence Day, the Indian Army men's basketball team hoisted the 51st All India Basketball PSG Trophy. In the women's tournament, Chhattisgarh emerged as winners of the 14th CRI Pumps Trophy.

    The Indian Army Men's team, who hail from New Delhi, bounced back after finishing as runners-up last year to defeat home-state team IOB (Chennai) in the final on Saturday, 59-53. Gopalram was the high scorer for the Armymen with 17, while G Sivabalan dropped in a game-high 19 points in IOB's losing effort.

    The women's final, a high-scoring affair, turned out to be a personal showcase for Chhattigarh's giant center Poonam Chaturvedi. The tallest women player in India, Chaturvedi scored 48 points to help Chhattisgarh outlast their opponents KSEB (Kerala) 84-78. Grima Merlin Varghese scored 19 points for the KSEB.

    August 15, 2015

    Milestones in Indian Basketball (2015 Update!)

    It's India's 69th Independence Day today, it's the day where we celebrate the anniversary of when that the fruits of the labours of our founding fathers - Gandhi, Nehru, Bose, Bhagat Singh, Azad, and so many more - came to realization. It's the day that India began its tryst with destiny.

    Since 'Hoopistani' is the self-proclaimed holy-scripture of Indian Basketball, it is a must that this blog should celebrate Indian Independence Day in a special manner, too. Earlier this week, the Hoopdarshan podcast - hosted by myself and Kaushik Lakshman - released a special Independence Day episode, where we gave listeners a lesson in Indian basketball history, capturing its greatest moments and highest achievers. We also spoke to India's former Women's NT captain Prashanti Singh. The podcast was a retelling of an article I wrote on this blog over five years ago, listing the greatest milestones and individual award winners in Indian basketball.

    Since then, history has come closer to fans of Indian hoops, with steady development in the sport racking up new milestones at an accelerating level. With the most current state of the game in mind, here is the 2015 update. Of course, with 85 years of hoops history in the country, not every major moment can be captured. These are the highest of the highlights; feel free to suggest any other major milestones that should be considered in the comments section below.

    Arjuna Award winners
    • 1961: Sarabjit Singh
    • 1967: Khushi Ram
    • 1968: Gurdial Singh
    • 1969: Hav. Hari Dutt
    • 1970: Gulam Abbas Moontasir
    • 1971: Man Mohan Singh
    • 1973: SK Kataria
    • 1974: AK Punj
    • 1975: Hanuman Singh
    • 1977-78: T. Vijayaragavan
    • 1979-80: Om Prakash
    • 1982: Ajmer Singh
    • 1991: Radhey Shyam
    • 1991: Suman Sharma
    • 1999: Sajjan Singh Cheema
    • 2001: Parminder Singh
    • 2003: Satya (Sports)
    • 2014: Geethu Anna Jose
    Dhyan Chand Award winners
    • 2002: Aparna Ghosh
    • 2003: Ram Kumar

    Indian basketball has come a long way from the time the first ball was bounced somewhere in the middle of Punjab to the same state producing India's first NBA draftee, 85 years later. Through the years, we have seen 17 players and two coaches receive Arjuna and Dhyan Chand honours respectively, played basketball in the Summer Olympics, hosted several major international basketball competitions, and shocked heavyweights China in a legendary victory. Despite its growth, the sport still feels like it is in its infancy in India; considering India's massive population and growing economic status of the middle class, we have sold much short of our true potential.

    Hopefully, the future will be much brighter than the past. The Indian basketball family will be looking forward to a major professional basketball league, more young players following Satnam's footsteps into the NBA, and further international success by our national teams. For the present, however, let's celebrate our favourite sport in our favourite country and go out to shoot some hoops!

    August 14, 2015

    Two Indian teams to play in FIBA 3x3 World Tour in Beijing

    Two Indian Men's teams - representing the cities of Bengaluru and Chandigarh - will be taking part in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Beijing Masters on October 15-16. Each team will feature four players (three starters and a substitute) for this tournament, which will feature a total of 12 3x3 teams competing for the top prize.

    'Team Bangalore' is the squad which represented India at the 2015 3x3 South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) Qualifiers in Colombo earlier this month. By securing the gold medal, they were able to qualify for the Beijing Masters. Despite their nomenclature, the team consists of players from several other states/cities of India outside of Bengaluru.

    'Team Chandigarh' is the squad which appeared as 'Punjab Warriors' at the 2014 NBA Jam, and their victory in the National Finals in Pune last December booked their ticket to the Beijing Masters.

    The 12 teams are divided into four pools of three teams playing in a round-robin first round against their two respective pool opponents. The top-two placed teams from each pool advance to a standard knock-out round which starts at the quarter-finals stage. The two best teams qualify for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final, which will be staged in Abu Dhabi on 15-16 October 2015. Apart from this main event, a dunk contest and a three-point shootout contest will also be held. Read more here.

    FIBA 3x3 World Tour Beijing Masters Participating Teams
    • Pool A: Novisad Alwahda (UAE), Zheng Zhou (China), Bangalore (India).
    • Pool B: Ljubljana (Slovenia), New Taipei (Chinese Taipei), Jinan (China).
    • Pool C: Doha (Qatar), Jakarta (Indonesia), Beijing (China).
    • Pool D: Tokyo (Japan), Wukesong (China), Chandigarh (India).
    India team rosters
    • Team Bangalore: Basil Philip (Kerala), Rajesh Uppar (Karnataka), Siddhant Shinde (Maharashtra), Jeevanantham Pandi (Tamil Nadu).
    • Team Chandigarh: Khusmeet Atwal, Arshpreet Bhullar, Arshdeep Dhillon, Rajveer Singh.
    Schedule for India’s league games 15th August (all timings IST)
    • 2:40 PM: Chandigarh vs Tokyo (Pool D).
    • 3 PM: Bangalore vs Zheng Zhou (Pool A).
    • 4 PM: Bangalore vs Novisad Alwahda (Pool A).
    • 6 PM: Chandigarh vs Wukesong (Pool D).

    The FIBA 3x3 World Tour was first launched in 2012. The former winners are San Juan (Puerto Rico, 2012), Brezovica (Slovenia, 2013) and Novi Sad (Serbia, 2014).

    August 13, 2015

    Indian basketball legend - the late Khushi Ram - immortalized with statue in Haryana village

    During his prime, Khushi Ram always found a way atop the basketball score card, dominating Asian tournaments and rising above competitors from across the world as one of the finest Indian basketball players of his generation. As years passed, hindsight titled the man affectionately referred to as 'The Magician of Basketball' as one of the greatest Indians to ever play the game. And now, two years after his death (at 77), Ram's legacy has been immortalized forever.

    Earlier this week, a statue of Khushi Ram was unveiled in his home village of Jhamri, in the Jhajjar district of Haryana. The marble statue was a first-of-its-kind to be given to honour a basketball player in India. A former captain of India's national Men's team, Kumar was handed with the Arjuna Award in 1967. His son Ram Kumar (also an Arjuna Awardee for basketball), former basketball legend Ajmer Singh, and many members of the Indian Basketball Players Association (IBPA) were among the many present to unveil this statue in Jhamri.

    The 6-foot4 Ram was one of the leaders of an era when Indian basketball was on the rise. He was an integral part of India's national team from 1964-72, and captained India in 1965 at their first ever appearance at the Asian Basketball Confederation Championship (now known as the FIBA Asia Championship) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. India finished 7th at the tournament. He was the highest scorer at the championship (the only Indian at the Senior Men's level to be the tournament's highest scorer). In the next two Asian Championships in Seoul (Korea) and Bangkok (Thailand), he was the tournament's second and third highest scorer respectively.

    Born in Jhamri on August 7, 1936. His interest for basketball began at age 14 when he joined the Delhi-based Army unit Rajputana Rifles as a Boy Recruit in 1950. He made his debut as a youth player at the National Basketball Championship in 1952 representing the Armed Forces team. From a young age, he was known for his shooting ability - which helped him become an unstoppable scorer for the course of his career - and for his high IQ and sense of the game.

    Ram's fame was at its height in 1970, when he dominated at the 10th Anniversary Celebrations Championship in Manila and scoring 43 points (highest by an Indian in an international) against the hosts Philippines.

    After retirement and even until his final years, Ram was coaching basketball to students at the Modern School in Kota.

    The Indian Express' Shivani Naik wrote in further detail about the statue unveiling and Ram's past glories.

    His son Ram Kumar, an Arjuna Award-winner just like him and a coach of equal repute with the Railways, believes that it was important to set down the legacy in stone. “I personally went to Jaipur and this was made by sculptors who specialize in marble work and took two months to complete,” he says. “India’s attention is on basketball and everyone’s looking ahead to developments in NBA. But we also need to honour our past, because Indian basketball has a rich history, and Khushi Ram was a legend,” he said.
    A dozen boys trained by the doyen in his final years, also played an exhibition game, as his work continues in the little-known village. Jhamri promises to be a rare basketball nursery even as the rest of Haryana is swept by myriad other sports — hockey, volleyball, boxing and even cricket. “The villagers came out in huge numbers because they knew what this man did for Indian basketball. I can’t expect the whole country to know him but it was heartening that the whole village turned up at the unveiling by another towering legend Ajmer Singh (who was India’s highest scorer in the 1980 Olympics),” Ramkumar said.
    The legend of Khushi Ram is incomplete without the tale of the Philippines coach. The tiny island country were the dominant nations of Asian basketball in the 60s. A Philippines coach had once declared after an invitational tournament where Khushi Ram finished as the MVP of Asia, the highest scorer in Asia and best centre of the meet: “Give us Khushi Ram, and we’ll conquer the world.” Asia’s most formidable side in 1970s had just been humbled by a spirited India, riding on Khushi Ram’s exploits at Manila, and the rival coach made more than the polite enquiry into whether it was possible to poach India’s tall-man for good, before the team returned home.

    “I know basketball players get lost in sands of time and are forgotten. But the statue will keep the spirit of this game and what it means to several village ball players alive. Future Satnams (Dallas Mavericks pick Satnam Singh) are bound to come from villages,” Ram Kumar added.

    As far as I know through Uncle Google, Jhamri, with a population of a little over 2,000 people, is barely indistinguishable from one hot, farming Haryana village to another. Khushi Ram may have been the village's most accomplished son, and now, Jhamri can become the part of a unique Indian basketball pilgrimage. Pilgrims of other religions travel hundreds or thousands or miles to pay respect to their saints or their Gods around the world; for those whose true faith is basketball in India, this little village with the statue of one of our greatest talents, may become a minor 'tirth stahl' of its own.

    August 12, 2015

    Hoopdarshan Episode 14: Independence Day special with Prashanti Singh!‏

    68 years ago, India won Independence from the British Empire, and in 2015, we are still thankful for the nation's most glorious day. Feeling a whiff of patriotism, the Indian basketball podcast Hoopdarshan - hosted by Kaushik Lakshman and Karan Madhok - bring you our Independence Day special episode. Join us as we recount and discuss the greatest milestones in Indian basketball history, from the first ball bounced in Kapurthala to the first Indian drafted into the NBA. We finish the episode with a special interview with former Women's NT captain Prashanti Singh on her biggest moments in a Team India jersey, the struggle for women in the sport, and getting marriage proposals from random fans.

    Part 1 of Episode 14 will be a history lesson in Indian basketball, from 1930 to the present day, recounting great moments like the formation of India's basketball federation, our first (and only) Olympics Basketball appearance, beating China in Wuhan last year, and recalling some of the game's greatest players.

    In Part 2, we chat with Prashanti Singh as if we were sipping chai on the steps of the ghats of her hometown, Varanasi. Prashanti is from the illustrious 'Singh Sisters' who have dominated Indian and Delhi basketball in recent years. She has played in several key international and domestic tournaments for India and continues to be one of the most popular players in the country.

    Hoopdarshan aims to be the true voice of Indian basketball, and since we're such hopeless fans of the game, it will become the voice of everything basketball related we love, from the NBA to international hoops, too. On every episode of Hoopdarshan, we will be inviting a special guest to interview or chat to about a variety of topics. With expert insight from some of the brightest and most-involved people in the world of Indian basketball, we hope to bring this conversation to a many more interested fans, players, and followers of the game.

    Make sure to follow Hoopdarshan on Soundcloud or search for 'Hoopdarshan' on the iTunes Store! Auto-sync Hoopdarshan to your preferred podcast app NOW!

    Hoopdarshan can be found on...

      August 11, 2015

      Jammu and Kashmir Basketball Association officially recognized by Basketball Federation of India

      Before the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) divided into two opposing executive committees fighting for power, several state basketball federations around the country were already experience the divide and power struggle on their smaller levels. One of these was the Jammu and Kashmir Basketball Basketball Association (JKBA), whose problems had eventually led India's northernmost state to lose all funding from the Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council (JKSSC) and see basketball become de-registered as a sport in the state last year.

      Some hope for basketball has returned to J&K, however. The BFI held a meeting on July 4th to decide the fate of the state association, and in a letter addressed to them on July 28, granted affiliation to the newly formed committee of the JKBA. The office bearers of the recognized JKBA are: Yuvraj Vikramaditya Singh (President), Vikram Handa (General Secretary), and Ashok Singh (Treasurer). The letter was sent from the office of BFI's Secretary General Chander Mukhi Sharma.

      The previous JKBA was de-recognized by the BFI in a letter to former Secretary General Prem Pal Singh on June 22, stating the reasons that Prem Pal had failed to hold elections for the state association. Prem Pal - who was the Deputy CEO of the previous BFI committee - sent various members of the media a message about the validity of the JKBA under his governance several weeks ago, but ultimately, the BFI's decision went against him.

      The official recognition of the new JKBA can finally spell a new, positive restart for the sport in J&K. The states top players can now move on from worrying about political issues and infighting and get back to receiving the national-level opportunities that they deserve. Being recognized now will allow players from Jammu and Kashmir to play in BFI-organized national tournaments and receive support from the center.

      (Perhaps the new association can start by fixing the spelling of 'Jammu' on their logo?)

      August 10, 2015

      China win FIBA Asia U16 Championship again; India go winless and fall to Level II

      The top women's basketball team in the continent gave opponents another warning shot that their future is set to be as dominant as their present. For the second consecutive time - and the third time in four competitions - China's youth women emerged as champions by securing the 2015 FIBA Asia U16 Championship for Women in Medan (Indonesia) on Sunday, August 9. In the 12-team tournament held from August 2-9, China defeated Japan to secure the title in a rematch of 2013 final.

      On the other end of the spectrum, India's under-16 suffered a miserable outing in Indonesia, losing all five of their Level I in comprehensive fashion and losing the qualifying last game as well to fall to Level II in the tournament's 2017 iteration.

      In the tournament's four-event history since 2009, Japan has been to the final all four times, but unfortunately, emerged as victors only once back in 2011. For the second-consecutive time, the final at the Angkasapura Lanud Hall in Medan pitted Asian powerhouses China and Japan against each other. Japan were looking to avenge not only their 2013 final loss to China but also a big loss in the preliminary stage of the 2015 tournament.

      On Sunday, Japan started the game off well, trailing by just one point in the first quarter and showing intentions of being able to pull off the victory against the favoured Chinese. But China - as they have been all tournament - were unstoppable once the final nerves settled down. On the back of a mammoth performance by Yueru Li (31 points, 18 rebounds), China took the edge before halftime, and even though Japan stayed competitive till the end of the third quarter, a flurry in the final period decided the score in China's favour. Starting off the fourth quarter with a 69-61 lead, China outscored Japan 26-11 in the final 12 minutes to win the game 95-72. Jiaqi Wang added 27 for China and Linge Zhang added 19. Izumi Abe scored 31 for Japan in a losing effort.

      Earlier on Sunday, Korea defeated Chinese Taipei 60-52 to secure the bronze medal. Hyun Ji Park led all scorers with 18 for Korea while So Hoo Lee added 16.

      The semi-final stage had pitted the familiar 'Big Four' of Asian Women's basketball against each other. Champions China brushed off a meek challenge by Chinese Taipei 89-46 led by Yueru Li (20). The later semi-final was a closer affair, as Japan had to come from behind to defeat Korea 64-55 to book a place for themselves in the final. Korea's So Hoo Lee was the game's leading scorer with 18.

      India - as they have done each time in the tournament - failed to make it to the semi-final stage despite being in Level I. But this year's performance was especially dismal; India's 12-girl squad - led by Head Coach Abhay Chavan - lost all their games by a large margin and went winless, only to the relegated to Level II for the first time.

      The bad omens struck India from the very first game, when they were outscored 47-17 at halftime of their opening game against Korea. So Hoo Lee scored 18 points as Korea posted a 97-52 victory.

      Proceedings got even more dismal the next day as India's offence fell apart in a 74-point loss to Japan. Japan held India to just 14 points after halftime to win the game 113-39. Itsuki Hashiguchi and Rina Kajiwara led Japan with 16 points each.

      India faced formidable foes China in Game 3, but despite some baby steps in improvement, still lost by a wide margin and only posted 32 points on the board. Yu Luo (17) and Shan Li (16) did most of the scoring damage for China. None of the Indian players cracked double digits.

      India's only chance of redemption in the group stage could've come against Thailand in their next game, a team that is ranked closer to their skill level. But despite a positive start and a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter, Thailand took complete control of the game in the deciding second period, outscoring India 33-12. After that point, India were at the mercy of the Thais, and eventually lost the game 90-58. Rattiyakorn Udomsuk was the catalyst for Thailand, scoring 28 points to lead all scorers. Thunchanok Lumdappang (18) and Kanyawat Saraban (17) added to the Thai onslaught. Sushantika Chakravortty led India with 17.

      India's last preliminary round game was again a big loss, 92-48, to Chinese Taipei. Chinese Taipei opened the game with a 32-12 first quarter run and kept a hold on proceedings until the final buzzer. Meng-Hsin Chen of Chinese Taipei scored a game-high 19 points.

      India had finished sixth in the preliminary round after five losses, and their final game at Medan was a qualifying game against the top team of Level II, Hong Kong. Although India remained within reach until halftime, Hong Kong opened up a double digit lead in the third quarter and eventually stretched their lead to a blowout win, 66-44. Nga Man Christie Wong scored 18 for Hong Kong while India's Rutaja Pawar had 19 to post the biggest individual score by any Indian at the championship.

      Finishing the tournament 0-6 and losing the qualifying game, India finished sixth and fell to Level II.

      India's dismal performance could be blamed to a lack of practice time, which is what Coach Chavan harped about mid-way into the tournament. “I had only 40 days to prepare my team," he told FIBA, "It’s not enough to prepare for such an event." Additionally, unlike other teams, India didn't get practice games required to find their groove together before the main event.

      Sushantika Chhakravortty was India's leading scorer at the tournament, scoring 9.7 points per game. Another bright spark for the team was point guard Nishanthi Masilamani, who dished 3.7 assists per game, fourth best of all players at the tournament.

      Two years from now, India's youth women will start at the lower Level II level. Because the opponents will be easier, they may return home with a better-looking record, but it will not be worth as much as getting a chance to play against the top teams in Level I and holding the potential to make it to the semi-final stage. For a return to play against the top dogs in 2019, now India has to ensure Level I qualification in 2017.

      August 9, 2015

      Team India for 2015 FIBA Asia Women's Championship selected in Bengaluru

      22 of India's top women's basketball player - all competing to wear the national colours at the biggest basketball tournament in Asia at the end of the month - came together under one roof for intensive selection trials at the Sri Kantaveera Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday, August 9. All 22 probables have been training under India's Women's Head Coach Francisco Garcia at the venue since July 20th, and on Sunday, the final selection trials decided the 15-women roster that will head to Wuhan (China) for the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship for Women from August 29 to September 5.

      The trials began from 10 AM onwards on Sunday. Members of the Indian media have been invited to the venue to witness the final selection trials, and speak to the selection committee, players, and Coach Garcia.

      Garcia, who returned to coach the national team after an absence of a few months, picked almost a full-strength squad for India, including established or rising young stars like Anitha Paul Durai, Shireen Limaye, Jeena PS, Kavita Akula, Poojamol KS, and more. Of course, the absence of India's Arjuna Award winning legendary player Geethu Anna Jose will be felt, but Garcia told me in an interview last month that he hopes that the team will be able to rise to the plate without her.

      Probables for India's Senior Women's Basketball team
      • Rajapriyadarshani R (Indian Railways)
      • Stephy Nixon (Kerala)
      • Poojamol KS (Kerala)
      • Apporva Muralinath (Indian Railways)
      • Srividhya V (Tamil Nadu)
      • Smruthi Radhakrishnan (Indian Railways)
      • Jeena PS (Kerala)
      • Sitamani Tudu (Indian Railways)
      • Anjana PG (Kerala)
      • Sruthi Menon (Maharashtra)
      • Anitha Paul Durai (Indian Railways)
      • Shireen Limaye (Maharashtra)
      • Barkha Sonkar (Uttar Pradesh)
      • Kavita Akula (Chhattisgarh)
      • Bhandavya HM (Karnataka)
      • Head Coach: Francisco Garcia
      • Coach: Aparna Ghosh
      Selection Committee: T. Chengalraya Naidu (President, Andhra Pradesh Basketball Association), Satprakash Yadav, Leelama Thomas, Pratibha Suriyashekar.

      “It is the best 15 in my opinion. We have a good balance for every position.” Coach Garcia said after the final selection. “I didn't have any trouble with respect to coaching these players. I am focused on working with the team. In Bengaluru, there have been fewer administrative deficiencies.”