May 31, 2019

NBA Finals to be live-streamed in India for the first time on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

The 2019 NBA Finals tipped off earlier today, with the Raptors scoring a big Game 1 victory over the Warriors. But for NBA fans in India, thousands of kilometres away from Toronto, the league has left a special gift that will delight fans of either team.

For the first time ever, the NBA Finals are set to be live-streamed in India on the NBA's accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in English commentary. This new option will hopefully help the league many more fans who don't have access to the NBA's regular live broadcasts in India on cable. Of course, the cable broadcasts will continue too, with live games in both English and Hindi commentary on Sony ESPN/Ten Network.

Throughout the regular season, SONY featured more than 300 live NBA games across their channels.

"We are always looking to provide our passionate fans in India with more ways to experience the excitement of our games," said Diane Gotua, NBA Vice President of Global Business Operations. "Streaming this historic matchup on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, along with broadcasting the games across SONY, will deliver unprecedented access to the NBA Finals."

NBA Finals Schedule in India
  • Game 1: Friday, May 31, 6:30 a.m. IST
  • Game 2: Monday, June 3, 5:30 a.m. IST
  • Game 3: Thursday, June 6, 6:30 a.m. IST
  • Game 4: Saturday, June 8, 6:30 a.m. IST
  • Game 5: Tuesday, June 11, 6:30 a.m. IST*
  • Game 6: Friday, June 14, 6:30 a.m. IST*
  • Game 7: Monday, June 17, 5:30 a.m. IST*
*if necessary

May 30, 2019

Indo-Canadian coach Roy Rana joins Sacramento Kings coaching staff

The Sacramento Kings' roots with the international Indian community continue to get deeper.

Roy Rana, the Canadian who is probably the highest-profile Indian-origin basketball coach in the world, has just been hired as one of the assistant coaches by the Kings. Rana will populate a bench of coaches led by Sacramento's newly-hired head coach, Luke Walton, who coached the Los Angeles Lakers last season.

Rana, 50, has coached the Ryerson University men's basketball team (Toronto) since 2009, guiding the Rams to six appearances at the U SPORTS national championship tournament. He also serves as the head coach of Canada's U18 and U19 national men teams. In 2017, he helped Canada to a gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Cup.

Rana was born in Wolverhampton in England, to parents from Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, before moving to Canada when he was just a year old.

The Kings have made more connections with the global Indian population than any other NBA team. Their owner, Vivek Ranadive, is the only Indian-born owner in the league. In 2015, they played the Canadian Sim Bhullar, making him the first player of Indian-origin to play NBA minutes. This year, the Kings will become the first NBA team to play a preseason game in India, facing the Indiana Pacers in October in Mumbai. Rana will now likely make this trip along with Walton and the rest of this exciting, young squad.

According to Sam Amick, the Kings also added Bob Beyer (formerly OKC) and Jesse Mermuys (Lakers) to their coaching staff.

Hoopdashan Episode 78: NBA Finals Warriors vs. Raptors preview with Manas Singh

With the NBA reaching its last stage of the season, we invited sports anchor Manas Singh on Hoopdarshan. In a free-flowing interview, Singh joined co-hosts Kaushik Lakshman and Karan Madhok for a discussion on the Warriors' potential three-peat, the effect (or non-effect) of Kevin Durant's in the Finals, Kawhi Leonard's redemption tour, and Stephen Curry's legacy. Singh told us why he is potentially 90 minutes away from an inappropriate tattoo.

Singh, who hosts the Sony SIX NBA show 'Saturday Morning Live' among more anchoring duties, also discussed two of his favourite teams in different sports: the NBA's San Antonio Spurs and the EPL's Liverpool FC. As usual, Kaushik and Karan round up the latest Indian basketball news, from Vaishnavi Yadav to the Youth Nationals.

Hoopdarshan is the truest 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...

May 26, 2019

2019 FIBA Asia 3x3: Australia win double golds; India's teams finish outside top-12

The 4th edition of the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup featured a record 40 teams (18 in the women's and 22 in the men's category) playing fast-paced, competitive basketball in the heart of Changsha, China. And when the dust settled it was the dominating newcomers from the Oceania region - Australia - that celebrated the spoils. With dominant displays throughout the knockout stage on Sunday, Australia's Men and Women both emerged as 2019 FIBA Asia 3x3 champions.

Held from May 22-26, the quickfire tournament featured most of the top Asian countries. Australia's Men, who also won the tournament's previous iteration in 2017, took the gold on Sunday with a 21-9 victory over Mongolia in a rematch of the last final. Tim Coenraad scored 8 points in the final including the game-winner for the Australians.

Australia's Women beat Kazakhstan 20-9 to win gold in their division on Sunday.

Hosts China's Men finished third after defeating Kazakhstan in the bronze medal game, 14-11. The women's bronze went to Japan, who won 21-14.

India also sent four-member squads to the 3x3 Asia Cup earlier this week, for both the men's and the women's divisions. Both teams were placed in the Qualifying Draw, meaning that they had to finish in the top of their group after the first two days of qualifying games to have a chance for qualification in the main Pool Stage.

Captained by Raspreet Sidhu, India's Women's team started the tournament in the Qualifying Draw B with Malaysia, Maldives, and Thailand. On the opening day, India defeated Malaysia in a nailbiter, 16-15. On Day 2, they scored a 18-12 victory over Maldives. But they failed to top their group after losing to Thailand in their final game, 21-15.

India Women finished at 14th place (out of 18).

India's Men's squad had a similar run in their two-day appearance at Changsha. Led by returning star guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, India were in Men's Qualifying Draw B with South Korea, Vanuatu, and and Malaysia. Like the women, India's Men's team also started their first day with a win over Malaysia, 21-13. On Day 2, they cruised past Vanuatu 21-10. But their journey ended with a heartbreaking close loss to South Korea 20-19.

India Men finished at 13th place (out of 22).

Team of the Tournament

  • Tom Wright (Australia) - MVP
  • Delgernyam Davaasambuu (Mongolia)
  • Yi Zheng (China)

  • Rebecca Cole (Australia) - MVP
  • Nadezhda Kondrakova (Kazakhstan)
  • Minami Iju (Japan)

Final Standings

  • 1. Australia
  • 2. Mongolia
  • 3. China
  • 4. Kazakhstan
  • 5. Jordan

  • 1. Australia
  • 2. Kazakhstan
  • 3. Japan
  • 4. Mongolia
  • 5. Turkmenistan

May 24, 2019

Jayasankar Menon: Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame

Jayasankar Menon has been crucial to the development of Indian basketball both on and off the court. As a player, he set new records for individual performances with the national team in the 1980s-90s. After retirement, he has been involved with the welfare and growth of the game as the IBPA founder and a coach. Today, he is named into the Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame.

Originally from Wadakanchery in Kerala's Thrissur district, Menon got his start in Kerala, but eventually came to be associated closely with basketball in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. In Chennai, he played for Southern Railways from 1987 and played a major role in the dominant Indian Railways side from the late 80s to the 90s that were always the favourites in the national championships. In 15 Nationals with Railways and TN, he won five golds, a silver, and a bronze.

On the international circuit, the power forward rose to become of the country's top players. He was the first Indian to be chosen for an Asian All Star team in 1997, was nominated for the Arjuna Award, won 2 gold medals for India in the South Asian Games, played in four FIBA ABCs, and captained Team India to the ABC in Korea where he was at his dominant best.

Over the years, Menon received various accolades for his influence on the sport, from the Tamil Nadu government, from Indian Bank, and more. However, despite all his accolades, the Arjuna Award has eluded him. He continued to play at the domestic level until his late 30s with Indian Bank. He found himself in controversy when a scuffle in 2005 left him with a 3-year ban on the game.

After retirement, Menon rebounded to give back to the game. He was the founder and General-Secretary of the Indian Basketball Players Association (IBPA), former member of the FICCI sports committee, and former director of Chennai's Professional Basketball Academy (PBA), among many more coaching and operational connections with the game. Menon is married to a former Indian national women's basketball captain, Prasanna Jayasankar.

Click here for more of the Indian Basketball Hall of Fame.

May 23, 2019

India's junior guard Vaishnavi Yadav commits to Pensacola State College of NJCAA Division 1

The story of Vaishnavi Yadav has already been well-cemented in Uttar Pradesh basketball circles. Just 13, the quick, high-scoring guard from Allahabad began to show her dominance for the state's youth teams in early domestic tournaments, and then soon graduated to starring for the U18 teams, too. She was just 14 when she made her first appearance for India's youth side at the FIBA U16 Asia Championship. Two years later, she returned to the team, now with her skills more polished, and ended up being an unstoppable force leading India to a Division B victory with a division-high average of 20.4 ppg and a team-high 6.2 apg.

But she reached young legendary status at the next youth nationals, in May 2018, where she tallied a record 71 points - the most by a woman at the national level in India - in a losing cause against Kerala. Her efforts were able to lift UP basketball to a respectable status, and she also began to turn heads at the NBA Academy India women's programme where she won the MVP award. It was just a matter of time before the next big leap.

That time is now: The Pensacola State women's basketball team, based out of Pensacola, Florida in the USA, announced the signing of the 17-year-old Yadav to their college and team, which plays in the NJCAA (Junior NCAA) Division 1. The signing adds Yadav (5'7") to a list of many other young Indian women taking a turn for student-athletics for basketball teams in the US, including Kavita Akula and Sanjana Ramesh (both signed to NCAA programmes) and Barkha Sonkar (who played NJCAA).

Pensacola state head coach Penny Belford said, "We are very excited to have Vaishnavi join the Lady Pirate family. She will bring a wealth of playing experience and excitement for the upcoming season."

"So I have officially committed to Pensacola state college," said Yadav on social media. "I would like to thank India basketball, NBA academy, coach [Blair Hardiek] and everyone who helped me in the process. Can't wait to start my new journey this year! Go pirates!"

The 'Lady Pirates' play in the Panhandle Conference of the FCSAAA in Florida, where they finished last in the previous season with a 0-12 record. Hopefully, Yadav's addition to the squad turns around the team's fortunes and also provides the burgeoning Indian star the experience and education to boost her career to the next level.

May 22, 2019

Haryana (Boys) and Kerala (Girls) take home the gold at the 2019 Youth Nationals in Coimbatore

India's biggest national under-16 basketball tournament - the 36th Youth (U16) National Basketball Championship for Boys and Girls - came to a conclusion in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) on Tuesday, with Haryana (Boys) and Kerala (Girls) sitting atop the rankings. It was a major improvement for both these sides, as neither of them finished in the top three in last year's edition of the tournament.

Organised by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) in association with the Tamil Nadu Basketball Association (TNBA), the Youth Nationals were held at the PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore from May 14-21, 2019. 26 teams each in the boys' and girls' divisions took part from all over the country.

Kerala were well-represented in the final stage, featuring a team in each of the two championship games on the day. In the boys' final, Kerala were halted in their tracks by Haryana and their star player Sahil Taya, who continued his impressive play as it had been through the course of the tournament with 31 points. His teammate Akshay added 17 to aid Haryana's 81-74 victory. Pranav Prince and Jim Paul Kothulil each scored 19 for Kerala in the loss.

Kerala's girls faced off in their final against hosts Tamil Nadu. Led by experienced youngster Ann Mary Zachariah's 40 points, Kerala were able to create the separation needed to win 80-69. Zachariah added to her strong form all tournament, coming on the back of her appearance at the NCAA Next Generation camp in the USA earlier this year. For TN, Sathya scored 31 points in a losing effort.

The high scorers in the finals for each of the winnings teams - Haryana's Sahil Taya and Kerala's Ann Mary Zachariah - were named the Best Players of the tournament.

Rajasthan won third place earlier in the day in both the boys' and girls' divisions. Rajasthan Boys were led by Digvijay Singh (36) and Amendra (23) in a 92-68 win over Karnataka. Karnataka's Achintya had a game-high 38 in the loss, while Manoj added 18.

Rajasthan's girls sneaked past Punjab in a low-scoring affair, 48-47, to win the bronze, led by Manvi Srivastava's 18 points. Harsimran Kaur, the Punjabi player who turned a lot of heads after her performances at the NBA Academy Women's camp earlier this year, had 29 her side.

Final Scores
  • Boys: Haryana (Sahil Taya 31, Akshay 17) bt. Kerala (Pranav Prince 19, Jim Paul Kothulil 19) 81-74.
  • Girls: Kerala (Ann Mary Zachariah 40) bt. Tamil Nadu (Sathya 31) 80-69.

Final Standings

  • 1. Haryana
  • 2. Kerala
  • 3. Rajasthan

  • 1. Kerala
  • 2. Tamil Nadu
  • 3. Rajasthan

May 19, 2019

Team India set for 2019 FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup in Changsha, China: Rosters, Schedule, and Preview

From new domestic leagues, successful grassroots programmes, and individual athletes making a name for themselves internationally, 3x3 Basketball has caught on like wildfire in India over the past few years. But when it came to participating in the continent's biggest 3x3 bonanza last year, Team India was marked 'absent'.

Now, they get to rectify their absence and make a comeback to the tournament in style.

The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) has announced four-member squads for India's senior men and women's squads, ready to take part in the 2019 FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup in Changsha, China, from May 22-26, 2019. The teams will be captained by Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Raspreet Sidhu, and led by the Serbian coaching duo of Veselin Matic and Zoran Visic. Both Indian teams are currently in the Qualifying Draws and will have to win their first few games to qualify for the proper group stage.

India's Women won the first-ever instance of this tournament back in China in 2013. Last year, India did not participate, but two teams from Oceanis took home the golds, taking part in the Asian fray for the first time: Australia (Men) and New Zealand (Women). Both teams will be threats again in the tournament this year, along with the hosts China. Mongolia and Japan also finished in the top three of the Men's tournament last year and should hope to contend this time around, too.

Team India Rosters for 2019 FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup

  • Vishesh Bhriguvanshi - captain
  • Arshpreet Singh Bhullar
  • Akilan Pari
  • Yadwinder Singh

  • Raspreet Sidhu - captain
  • Bhandavya Hemmige Mahesha
  • Sreekala Rani
  • Shireen Limaye

For the Men's team, Bhriguvanshi will be looking to make up for lost time after spending much of the last two years rehabbing an ACL injury. He is India's best perimeter player, and has good understanding with the experienced forward Yadwinder Singh. Serbian Coach Veselin Matic only came to India a week ago to helm the men's basketball programme, and this will be his first international test. Matic's Serbian counterpart Zoran Visic will be the head coach of the women's team, and experienced Delhi baller Raspreet Sidhu will be expected to carry much of the squad's scoring load.


  • Pool A: Japan, Turkmenistan, Jordan
  • Pool B: China, New Zealand, Qualifying Draw A 1
  • Pool C: Mongolia, Australia, Qualifying Draw B 1
  • Pool D: Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Qualifying Draw C 1
  • Qualifying Draw A: Qatar, Philippines, Iran, Samoa, Thailand
  • Qualifying Draw B: South Korea, India, Malaysia, Vanuatu
  • Qualifying Draw C: Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei, Vietnam

  • Pool A: China, Australia, New Zealand
  • Pool B: Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan
  • Pool C: Japan, Sri Lanka Qualifying Draw A 1
  • Pool D: Iran, Turkmenistan, Qualifying Draw B 2
  • Qualifying Draw A: Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Vanuatu, Samoa
  • Qualifying Draw B: Malaysia, Maldives, Thailand, India

India's schedule in the Qualifying Draw - all timings IST

  • May 22, 2019 - India vs. Malaysia - 11:30 AM
  • May 23, 2019 - India vs. Vanuatu - 10:30 AM
  • May 23, 2019 - South Korea vs. India - 12:20 PM

  • May 22, 2019 - Malaysia vs. India - 12:40 PM
  • May 23, 2019 - Maldives vs. India - 06:10 AM
  • May 23, 2019 - India vs. Thailand - 07:40 AM

India will have to win their qualifying groups to have a chance for qualification. The men's team should be able to win their first two games but will face a tougher competition against South Korea. For the women, both Malaysia and Thailand will provide stiff challenge for India to finish at top.

If India win their groups, the Men's team will join Pool C with two podium finishers from last year, Mongolia and Australia. The women's team qualification would place them in women's Pool D with Iran and Turkmenistan.

May 18, 2019

Gurdial Singh: Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame

Photo courtesy:
Continuing to honour some of the early basketball legends, today's addition to the Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame is Gurdial Singh.

Gurdial Singh played for Team India in the 1960s, becoming a part of the first teams to take part in the FIBA Asia Championship. He was also a part of the successful Services side from the 50s - along with stars like Sarbjit Singh - that won a number of National Championships. In 1968, Gurdial Singh was honoured with the Arjuna Award in Basketball.

After he passed away, a memorial basketball tournament in his honour has been held regularly at the school where Singh used to train, in Gurdaspur (Punjab).

Click here for more of the Indian Basketball Hall of Fame.

May 17, 2019

Hoopdarshan Episode 77: Scott Flemming on NBA Academy India and India's National Basketball Team

The very first guest on Hoopdarshan, Scott Flemming, returns to India's premier basketball podcast in a new role. Flemming was arguably the most successful head coach of India's Men's basketball side, and now works as the Technical Director of the NBA Academy India in Greater Noida. In an in-depth interview with co-hosts Kaushik Lakshman and Karan Madhok, Flemming talked about the changing opportunities for India's top prospects, what India can do to turn around their recent slump, and the full inside story of the 'Turban-Ban' controversy from the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup.

Aside from a conversation that triggered the past, present, and future of Indian basketball, Kaushik and Karan also touched on the ongoing Youth Nationals in Coimbatore and give their predictions for the NBA Conference Finals.

Hoopdarshan is the truest 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...

Satnam Singh ends first Canada NBL season with a Finals appearance

Sometimes, beauty lies in unpredictability. The type of unpredictability that presents new routes in one's journey, that takes one down unexpected new avenues, that turns the strive for a destination into a different, exciting journey.

For Satnam Singh, the dream destination has always been to play in the NBA. After his 'one in a billion' long-shot to go from a small Punjabi village to an IMG Academy scholarship in the USA, and then become the first Indian to be drafted into the NBA back in 2015, he reached unimaginable highs in his life. But the draft wasn't the end of his journey: instead of playing in the NBA, Satnam spent two seasons with the G-League's Texas Legends, then returned to India to play for the national team at the UBA League, and when a new route presented itself, he took the road into an unpredictable new direction: the St. John's Edge of Canada's NBL.

And that first season in St. John's went on - to Satnam's pleasant surprise - much longer than he had intended.

The St. John's Edge - founded only in 2017 - enjoyed their most successful NBL season yet, peaking to reach the league finals where they were swept by the league's strongest team - the Moncton Magic. The Magic ended the series with a 130-120 win in St. John's to win the series 4-0.

The Edge finished the NBL regular season with a second-place finish in the Central Division, and headed into the playoffs with a 21-19 record. In the playoffs, they beat the Sudbury Five 3-2 in the Division Semi-Finals and then beat the KW Titans 4-2 in the Division Finals. The Magic, however, proved to be the far superior squad in the one-sided Finals matchup.

Satnam played bit backup minutes for the team most of the season, behind former NBA player Glen 'Big Baby' Davis and other frontcourt threats like Jared Nickens, Russell Byrd and more. He ended the season averaging just five minutes per game, in which he averaged 2.1 ppg and 1.2 rpg on 54.7 percent shooting. He played 16 total minutes in the Finals - most of them in Game 1 - and tallied seven points.

It wasn't a groundbreaking development in any way, but the move to the NBL provided the 23-year-old 7-footer with another angle with which to approach his basketball career. His story has already inspired so many in India to chase their basketball dreams - now, he continues to show that there are more ways than the NBA to find professional basketball avenues.

May 15, 2019

India's National Youth (U16) National Basketball Championship 2019 tips off in Coimbatore

As many as 700 players young Indian basketball players, fresh faces set to be the future of Indian hoops, have gathered in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) this week for the 36th Youth (U16) National Basketball Championship for Boys and Girls. The tournament tipped off in Tuesday and is scheduled to be held from May 14-21 at the PSG College of Technology indoor stadium in Coimbatore. It is being organised by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) in association with the Tamil Nadu Basketball Association (TNBA).

In October last year, hosts Rajasthan (Boys) and Punjab (Girls) won the respective golds at the 2018 Youth National Basketball Championship in Udaipur. Rajasthan's Boys will again be among the favourites this year, along with strong units from Maharashtra and hosts Tamil Nadu. For the girls, watch out for all of last year's top three finishers - Punjab, Karnataka, and Maharashtra - to put on a good show.

This year's participating teams are:

  • Level 1 - Group A: Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Delhi.
  • Level 1 - Group B: Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh.
  • Level 2 - Group C: Haryana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh.
  • Level 2 - Group D: West Bengal, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Level 2 - Group E: Chandigarh, Assam, Jharkhand, Telangana.
  • Level 2 - Group F: Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Puducherry.

  • Level 1 - Group A: Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi.
  • Level 1 - Group B: Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Punjab, Chhattisgarh.
  • Level 2 - Group C: Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh.
  • Level 2 - Group D: Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand.
  • Level 2 - Group E: West Bengal, Chandigarh, Jharkhand, Telangana.
  • Level 2 - Group F: Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Puducherry.

Boys' reigning champions Rajasthan started off their campaign in style on the first day of action, dismantling Delhi with a 85-29 scoreline. Hosts Tamil Nadu stumbled in their first match, losing to Haryana 82-65.

In the girls' division, Punjab began their claim for a repeat title with an exciting 74-69 win over Delhi. Last year's finalists Karnataka defeated Uttar Pradesh 63-36.

You can find the full schedule of games here.

May 13, 2019

NBA announces India's teams for 2019 Jr. NBA Global Championship

For the second consecutive year, two squads of talented junior players will represent India at the 2019 Jr. NBA World Championship, set to be held once again at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida from August 6-11, 2019. The 20-member contingent of Indian boys and girls will participate in this massive tournament against the top 13-14 year-old players from across the world.

The Jr. NBA Global Championship will feature boys and girls divisions, separated into USA and international brackets that begin with round-robin play and continue with single-elimination competition. The winners of the USA and international brackets will play in the global championship games on Aug. 11.

The 20 Indian players were chosen following a two-day selection camp at the NBA Academy India in Delhi NCR in late April, observed by Sacramento Kings player Harrison Barnes. The camp featured 40 participants in the 13-14 age group from the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA Skills Challenges, City Competitions and National Finals.

Sachin Yadav and Moumita Mishra will both return for their second appearance in the annual youth basketball tournament.

In the inaugural event last year, India's boys lost in the first elimination round to eventual international winners, Africa and Middle East. India's girls lost in the same stage to China.

India's teams for 2019 Jr. NBA World Championship

  • Sachin Yadav (Delhi)
  • Dev Premi (Mumbai)
  • Arnav Gupta (Bengaluru)
  • Pranav Varma (Hyderabad)
  • Karan Pashi (Kolkata)
  • Janmejay Singh (Chandigarh)
  • Md. Kaif (Varanasi)
  • Harsh Dagar (Delhi NCR)
  • Lokendra (Delhi NCR)
  • Kushal Singh (Varanasi)

  • Riccha Ravi (Mumbai)
  • Moumita Mishra (Bengaluru)
  • Jeevika Kumar (Chenna)
  • Manmeet Kaur (Punjab)
  • Irin Esla John (Kerala)
  • Osheen Singh (Jabalpur)
  • Bhumika Sarje (Pune)
  • Dhara Phate (Nagpur)
  • Shomira Bidaye (Nagpur)
  • Muskan Singh (Patna)

May 11, 2019

Suman Sharma: Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame

There were 22 years of Arjuna Awards given to 12 Indian basketball players, from the early 60s to the early 90s, before the very first woman shattered the glass ceiling (or the fibre-glass backboard) to be named in this exclusive list. That woman was Punjab's Suman Sharma, a star for India in the late 70s and 80s, and today's entrant into the Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame.

Born in Amritsar, Sharma's international and domestic highlights included six national championship golds and a silver medal, appearances in three FIBA Asia Championships in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Shanghai, captaining the team for the 1982 Tokyo FIBA ABC, and playing a major role for the team the same year at the Asian Games back home in Delhi.

Sharma won the Arjuna Award in 1983. In 2015, he joined the Indian Basketball Players Association (IBPA) as a vice-chairperson.

Click here for more of the Indian Basketball Hall of Fame.

May 9, 2019

Hoopdarshan Episode 76: Veteran Indian international Raspreet Sidhu

One of the most experienced players of Team India, Raspreet Sidhu joins the new episode of the Indian basketball podcast Hoopdarshan. A natural storyteller, Sidhu spoke with co-hosts Kaushik Lakshman and Karan Madhok about her father's role in her sports journey, basketball in Delhi, being on court for iconic moments in Indian hoops history, and the struggle for opportunities for India's women players.

In addition, Kaushik and Karan also discussed Harrison Barnes' visit to India, the main storylines from the second round of the NBA Playoffs, and whether or not a lay-up by Deepika Padukone can spark an Indian basketball revolution (not).

Hoopdarshan is the truest 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...

May 6, 2019

Khushi Ram: Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame

The man who was once called 'The Magician of Basketball in India' and 'The Scoring Machine of Asia', Khushi Ram is remembered as one of the country's best-ever players, and one of the top talents in Asia in his prime years. A former captain of India's national Men's team, Kumar was handed with the Arjuna Award in 1967. Today, he becomes the newest addition to the Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame.

Ram was born in Jhamri village in Jhajjar district in Haryana in 1936. 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. The Armed Force team won India's National Basketball title 10 consecutive years, with Ram leading the helm several times as the tournament's best player. In 1969, he moved to Kota (Rajasthan) to join Shri Ram Rayons. He represented the state of Rajasthan for the next five years in National Basketball Championships.

Ram 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. 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, he continued to be deeply involved in coaching at the state and school level until his death at age 77 in 2013. Ram was also the father of another Indian basketball legend, the Dhyan Chand Award Winner Ram Kumar, and of the late Asok Kumar. In 2015, Ram was immortalised with a statue in his village of Jhamri.

Click here for more of the Indian Basketball Hall of Fame.

May 4, 2019

Six prospects selected for NBA India Academy after the ACG-NBA Jump Finals

This season's ACG-NBA Jump programme brought together 49 of the brightest young prospects from around the country to a final showcase: a three-day camp at the NBA Academy India to determine the handful among them who could have their brightest dreams come true. And on Friday, May 3rd, in the presence of an NBA champion, six names were called out to join the existing class of talents at the Academy in Greater Noida.

Now in it's fourth year, the 2019 ACG-NBA Jump National Finals marked the culmination of a talent search that comprised of scouting across various district, state and national championships. An open submission through TV, Print and social media were offered allowing players to submit video entries showcasing their basketball skills, athletic ability and attitude. NBA Champion and Sacramento Kings' Harrison Barnes was present through the two-day camp and shared his personal drills and training techniques with all the finalists. He was also involved in the selection of the new prospects for The NBA Academy India.

The selected prospects are:
  • Kushal Singh - Uttar Pradesh
  • Janhejay Singh - Chandigarh
  • Arvinder Singh - Punjab
  • Hanos Singh Sindhu - Punjab
  • Jitendra Kumar Sharma - Rajasthan
  • Vikrant Ghanghas - Haryana

Karan Singh, Managing Director, ACG said, "It is encouraging to see how the athletes have grown into better players and are getting bigger international opportunities to play and represent. What is most exciting this year is the talent we are witnessing is getting better and we now have athletes from those cities and states which earlier did not have similar access."

May 1, 2019

Rajesh Patel: Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame

Dedicated to basketball development for over three decades until this death a year ago, Rajesh Patel is today's addition to the Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame. For over 33 years, Patel excelled at coaching and developing Madhya Pradesh, and more prominently, for Chhattisgarh basketball programmes, helping dozens of young players win medals and achieve their dreams. He passed away in May 2018 at age 62.

Patel will be remembered as one of the most dedicated and hard-working leaders in Indian basketball. He played briefly for Madhya Pradesh in his youth and joined the Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) in 1980. By 1985, he turned all of his efforts into coaching the basketball recruits at Bhilai. When Chhattisgarh gained independent statehood from Madhya Pradesh, Patel became the state’s basketball secretary. He set up a residential basketball academy in Bhilai and recruited dozens of players from nearby regions — many of whom were from tribal or underprivileged backgrounds — to teach them the game.

Over the years, he helped 85 young women secure jobs under the sports quota at the Indian Railways. 41 of his alumni have represented the Indian national team at various age levels, and seven have been Indian national team captains. Some of the top players to have risen under Patel’s tutelage include Anju Lakra, Bharti Netam, Seema Singh, Poonam Chaturvedi, Kavita Akula (the first Indian to win NCAA D1 scholarship in the United States), Akanksha Singh, Maddu Pushpa and many more. Several male players like Ajay Pratap Singh also credit Patel and the BSP for their rise to prominence.

As head coach of Chhattisgarh since 2001, he delivered 104 medals, including 69 gold medals, to the state in the 17-year stretch in National Basketball Championships, National Games, and the Federation Cup. In 2015, he was named India’s Most Successful Basketball Coach by the Limca Book of Records. For his contributions to grassroots basketball in India, Patel was felicitated at the FICCI sports summit in 2010.

Click here for more of the Indian Basketball Hall of Fame.