In the cricket-crazy country, Basketball is another game besides football and badminton that is growing with each passing day. The reason behind Basketball’s growing fondness among Indians is mainly the establishment of the NBA academy in the Greater Noida and the presence of the league’s basketball schools in top Indian cities.
Just a few days back, NBA and FIBA had organised the 10th edition of Basketball without Borders Asia Camp at The NBA Academy India, Delhi NCR.
In the NBA camp, sixty-six top high-school boys and girls from 16 countries and territories across Asia took to the court and had the opportunity to learn from Corey Brewer (Oklahoma City Thunder; US), Caris LeVert (Brooklyn Nets, US), Kelly Olynyk (Miami Heat, Canada; BWB Americas 2009), Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks, Canada), two-time WNBA Champion Ruth Riley, and former WNBA player Ebony Hoffman. Indian players Satnam Singh and Amjyot Singh were also part of the camp.
In the opinion of Oklahoma City Thunder’ Corey Brewer, the league’s initiatives in India has already started to bear fruits as basketball have found the acceptance in the cricket-mad nation. Talking to us on the sidelines of the event, Corey Brewer talked about the all-time basketball greats and how a league can help in promoting the game in India.
When Corey Brewer was asked about what does a basketball player needs to do to be better, he said, “Just start playing earlier. Younger age groups. A lot of (Indian) kids don’t start playing till they’re 14-15, so they’re behind. They have to work a lot harder, and they’re still behind because kids in America start playing at an early age.”
“So, I felt over here, once kids start playing at an earlier age, kids are going to be better,” Corey added.
When asked if a basketball league in India will help in promoting the game, Brewer didn’t rule out the idea and said, “Yes definitely if we have a basketball league and children’s will see guys playing and they will look this guy up this way and said I want to be a basketball player.”
During his trip to India, Corey Brewer has also visited Taj Mahal and when we asked him about his experience, he said, “It’s been really good with the Taj Mahal the other day. Just learning about it — why it was built and how it was built. That was great,” adding, “Pretty good food, sure. Spicy, I like spice. And everybody’s been really nice. So it’s been good. Good trip.”
When we asked Corey who is the greatest basketball player of all time he said, ” For me, it’s Michael Jordan.”