The United Basketball Alliance will launch its Season 4 beginning 16 February in Chennai on the campus of Satyabhama University where basketball fans will be in for a real treat. At least one American player will be joining all eight UBA teams in what promising to be the most exciting and most competitive season yet. UBA Chairman Tommy Fisher is the man behind it all. 'I think the main thing is just setting the standard of excellence and how much competition there is out there in this world of basketball,' says Fisher, who recently brought 15 of the UBA's top players from India to the United States for a two week training camp. It is there where the selected Indian players got to train and play with the Americans who will be joining them for Season 4 in India. Narender Grewal of the Pune Peshwas, who has represented India on the international stage before becoming the UBA's Season 3 Most Valuable Player, was one of the players who attended the camp in Phoenix, Arizona. Narender not only worked on improving his already special abilities, but got a taste of how the UBA is about to become even better and faster. 'The major difference between the Indian player and the American player is the speed,' says Narender. 'The basic fundamentals are very different in terms of speed and moving fast. This will take a new turn for the next UBA session when it happens back in India.' Another former Indian national team player who attended the camp in the USA is Jat JaiRam (189-G/F-81) of the Chennai Slam. Jairam agrees with Narender's assessment. 'I played basketball for my department, for the country many times, but after joining to UBA I have seen that the basketball is different in US and in our country.' Jairam added, 'I think the alliance with UBA and the USA players and coaches has taken the game to a different level.' The most experienced American player coming to India to play in UBA Season 4 is Alex Scales (192-G-78, college: Oregon), who played briefly with the NBA's San Antonio Spurs. Scales was a star at the University of Oregon before launching his pro career which has also included two different NBA D-League teams and professional teams around the world in 11 different countries. Scales trained and played with the Indian players at the US camp. 'We got a good group of guys,' says Scales. 'And we just want to come in here and do what's right, make everyone better and learn some basketball.' Scales, who has played in places like China and Russia is about to play in India for the first time. 'At the end of the day this is something I always wanted to do. I always wanted to be part of the game and help break down situations and help others.' Scales is looking forward to helping his new Indian teammates and others who love the game in India. 'I want to be able to help guys understand to make them as good as they want to be and to give them confidence that they're capable of doing this just as well as I am. 'While all the Indian players who attended the US training camp enjoyed their interaction with the American players, Siddhanth Shinde of the Pune Peshwas, who has also represented India internationally, was pleasantly surprised at the way the American players treated his fellow UBA stars and him. 'I didn't think these guys would be so friendly,' said Shinde. 'As soon as we stepped in the gym everyone was silent and then everyone was pumping each other and we had made a couple of teams and had some games happening and we supported each other.' The American players are anxious to step in to the UBA spotlight with new teammates, in front of new fans, in a new country. But no American may be looking forward to it more than Chris Solomon (191-G-90, college: Kaiser), who played college ball in Florida at Northwood University, then professionally in Italy and Mexico. However, playing in India will be a dream come true for the young man with Indian blood. 'This hits home, it's a personal goal of mine,' says Solomon. 'I always wanted to go to India being as I'm half Indian, my Dad is from New Delhi. He came over to the States when he was about 11 so this is more than just basketball to me, this is getting to see the other side of my family.' Solomon was flying high above the rim frequently at the US training camp, but nothing has him flying higher than his chance to help basketball in his father's native land. Both the American players and the Indians left the training camp knowing their work had really just begun, but all made it clear they were committed to raising the game in the UBA and all of India. UBA Chairman Tommy Fisher liked what he saw at his camp in Phoenix and like most of us, can't wait to see what happens in Season 4. 'I really see potential here. Nothing comes in one day, you've got to work for it, you've got to earn it. Mr. Fisher added, 'I think if everyone's committed to that, you might be surprised what happens here two years, three years, four years from now with what we're talking about. It's exciting, it's fun. Courtesy of: ubaindia.com
The inside stories of Indian Basketball - Sony Six TV - 2 days ago
High up in the hilly abode of Himachal Pradesh, lies a fascinating little basketball secret. The Sherabling Monastery, located in Dharamshala, has monks who are in love with basketball. That's right, children from the monastery go out and enjoy the sport that is loved by millions around the globe. NBA Hangout, a new weekly show, gives us an inside view of the fascinating stories related to basketball in India. A segment in the brand new show talks about how basketball has entered the liv... [read more]
High up in the hilly abode of Himachal Pradesh, lies a fascinating little basketball secret. The Sherabling Monastery, located in Dharamshala, has monks who are in love with basketball. That's right, children from the monastery go out and enjoy the sport that is loved by millions around the globe.
NBA Hangout, a new weekly show, gives us an inside view of the fascinating stories related to basketball in India. A segment in the brand new show talks about how basketball has entered the lives of the monks at Sherabling Monastery. The story was quite different a decade ago when monks in Buddhist monasteries weren't allowed to play sports. However, with the growing awareness about the positive mental and physical influence of sports, the children at the monastery were allowed to explore the boon of sports. The rest, as they say, is history. Preferring to play basketball over indoor activities like video games, these young monks cannot wait to get out and shoot some hoops.
Besides the children being astutely aware of the many benefits of playing basketball (one particularly jovial boy mentions his ambitions of growing really tall and becoming a champion in the sport), what strikes a chord is the sheer joy basketball brings them. Despite playing other sports, they monks have a special fondness for basketball and are very enthusiastic about playing it everyday.
Whatever their reasons for playing, whatever the story behind their discovery of the sport, one thing is for certain. Basketball has added a touch of color to the austere lives led by the monks and is a heart-warming example of the magic of hoops and sport in general.
You can catch more such fascinating stories on NBA Hangout on TVF Play and on Thursday at 7 P.M. on Six and Six HD
ONGC Dehradun scored its second straight win defeating Income Tax (Gujarat) 88-71 in men's Group B league of the 31st Federation Cup basketball championship here on Thursday. The IT boys knew they were up against one of the best teams in the country. But they displayed guts of steel, dribbling boldly and confidently into the rival area for precious points, in the first quarter. ONGC, the championship favourite, meanwhile, played in a much relaxed manner. The idea was to exercise its str... [read more]
ONGC Dehradun scored its second straight win defeating Income Tax (Gujarat) 88-71 in men's Group B league of the 31st Federation Cup basketball championship here on Thursday.
The IT boys knew they were up against one of the best teams in the country. But they displayed guts of steel, dribbling boldly and confidently into the rival area for precious points, in the first quarter.
ONGC, the championship favourite, meanwhile, played in a much relaxed manner. The idea was to exercise its strategies for the final league against a strong Indian Overseas Bank on Friday. It was, in fact, a rehearsal of sorts for the team.
After its main players secured a good 15-point lead in the first session, ONGC tested its bench strength.
Income Tax, on the other hand, continued to work hard at the flanks. Dishanth V. Shah, the only tall star in the team, who looked smooth and easy beating the defence in the first half, suddenly could not find the space to move around as he was completely checked by the big men from Uttarakhand.
Income Tax could have still made a match of it had its bench been strong enough. It had just three to boast of as against ONGC's eight. They tried their level best in the final quarter but the damage had already been done.
Late on Wednesday, Customs and Central Excise (Kerala) held its nerves to clinch a 78-77 thriller over a fighting Ludhiana BA.
The results: Men: ONGC (Uttarakhand) 88 (Yadwinder Singh 21, Vishesh Briguvanshi 20) bt Income Tax (Gujarat) 71 (Dishant V. Shah 20, Indravijay Singh 16); Army Service Corps & Centre (Karnataka) 87 (Issac T. Thomas 28, Vivekananda 16) bt Ludhiana BA 64 (Arshpreet Singh 19, Rajveer Singh 18); IOB 75 bt Central Railway 58.
On Wednesday: IOB 82 (G. Sivabalan 20, Hareesh Koroth 19) bt Income Tax (Gujarat) 71 (Dhaval P. Ulva 20, Dishan V. Shaji 19); Customs & Central Excise (Kerala) 78 (R. Manoj 30, K.R. Nikhil 23) bt Ludhiana BA 77 (Arshpreet Bhullar 21, Rahul Mehla 16).
Women: West Bengal 76 (Madhu Kumari 25, Sitamani Tudu 19) bt Kerala 55 (P.G. Anjana 11, Nimmi George 9); Chhattisgarh 105 (Poonam Chaturvedi 42, Riya Verma 18) bt Punjab 75 (Nicha Netam 15, Mahima Bharadwaj 11).
Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (26 points) and Amritpal Singh (19 points) did the bulk of the scoring as defending champion ONGC (Uttarakhand) defeated first-time entrant Central Railways (CR) 75-64 in the men's Group B league of the 31st Federation Cup basketball championship here on Wednesday. ONGC fielded its top five at the start, but they failed to fire early. Central Railways cashed in on the chance and raced to a 6-2 lead in the opening minute with Raj Kalbhok shooting twice from outside th... [read more]
Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (26 points) and Amritpal Singh (19 points) did the bulk of the scoring as defending champion ONGC (Uttarakhand) defeated first-time entrant Central Railways (CR) 75-64 in the men's Group B league of the 31st Federation Cup basketball championship here on Wednesday.
ONGC fielded its top five at the start, but they failed to fire early. Central Railways cashed in on the chance and raced to a 6-2 lead in the opening minute with Raj Kalbhok shooting twice from outside the ring. ONGC did its best to keep the young shooter in check.
Later, after tightening the screws, it went into attack mode through Bhriguvanshi and Amritpal.
It was the former, in fact, who made a big difference. Standing at over six-foot, the playmaker showed great ball control. He cut down pace time and again and pressed on the power button when it mattered most to make it difficult for Railways.
Amritpal offered him great support and the points started to flow. However, the Central Railways team managed to stay close with ONGC leading 43-32 at the break.
It was ONGC's brilliance in the second half that decided the outcome of the game. It rested its stars, barring Bhriguvanshi, and tested its bench which did the finishing well. ONGC was all over Railways for most part of the last quarter. Railways could have matched the points charts had it not concentrated too hard on its defence. 'It was our first match so it took some time for us to settle down,' said ONGC coach Amit Kumar.
He had words of praise for the Central Railways side. 'They were really good. They were all new players and it was quite natural that they came out with new ideas.'
Central Railways coach Hanif Patel was pleased with his team's performance.
'We lost, but not without a fight. ONGC is a strong side and our boys made a match out of it. We played four of our tall players, but still struggled to beat the ONGC defence. That was because they stood taller than our boys.
Men: Army Service Corps & Centre (Karnataka) 57 (Isaac Thomas 16, Shashi Kumar 13, Jeethendar Singh 13) bt Indian Air Force 51 (Narendra Kumar 20, Joginder Singh 10); ONGC (Uttarakhand) 75 (Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 26, Amritpal Singh 19) bt Central Railways 64 (C. Amit 22, Akshadeep 11).
Women: Telangana 70 (Divya Palanivel 15, Aswathy 14, M. Gayathri 10) bt Punjab 39 (Gagandeep 10); Kerala 74 (P.R. Surya 16, P.G. Anjana 13) bt Delhi 36 (Sahiba Maan 12); Tamil Nadu 72 bt West Bengal 67; Southern Railway 69 bt Chhattisgarh 51. Courtesy - The Hindu
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