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.


  1. Great to see Late Rajesh Patel ji in Hall of Fame

  2. Your awesome topic is yours. I like these topics very much. I would like to have such topics daily, this post is really good for you. There are people like you in the world who put their views in front of everyone. Thank you from the heart.

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