July 14, 2019

Anil Kumar Punj - Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame

One of the high-flying stars of India's national teams in the 60s/70s, Anil Kumar Punj rose to a rare level of basketball greatness in the country, culminating with the honour of the Arjuna Award in 1974. Today, I add Punj to the illustrious list of legends in the Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame.

Born in Kapurthala (Punjab) in 1947 - months before India's independence - Punj became an important player for India's Border Security Force (BSF) and the national team. He had an illustrious career in the BSF from 1968 to 2004 from where he retired as Commandant.

He distinguished himself at the international and national level and was a member of the Indian Basketball Teams which participated in the 1970 Asian Games in Bangkok, and two FIBA Asia Basketball Championships - 1971 (Tokyo) and 1973 (Manila).

Over his career, Punj bagged two Gold, four Silver and four Bronze Medals in National Basketball Championships and also 13 Gold Medals and 2 Silver Medals in All India Police Games. He was decorated with the Arjuna Award by the Government of India in 1974 and Police Medal for Meritorious Services 1992. He was also decorated with the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award by the Punjab Govt. in 1986. Punj passed away at age 63 in January 2011.

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

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