Bangalore, March 22, 2018: These are exciting times for Indian basketball. Both the men’s and the women’s teams have had a good last 12 months on the court, particularly the latter, which has done exceedingly well both in the junior as well as the senior level competitions.
Last year the women’s team won The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Women’s Asia Cup in July and the FIBA Under-16 Women’s Asian Championships in October organised by the Basketball Federation of India
However, despite the improvement, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, according to those who follow the game closely in the country.
Zoran Visic coach of Indian Women’s Basketball team feels that for further improvement of the players, Indian basketball needs a league system. “India is a big country. There are a lot of talented players here. Both the men’s and the women’s team players are really talented and both were promoted to Division A from Division B. They have good potential. What we miss, if you compare India with other countries, there are leagues there. There is a discontinuation here over the season. It would be much better if we have a league and I hope very soon we can organise a league and it can help improve our players and they can get better,” Visic told The Softcopy in an exclusive interview, at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium recently.
The Serbian coach praised the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) for their support and credited them for staging two qualifying events in Bengaluru in 2017.
“The BFI have been supportive. We have built a good relationship. The President, Mr. Govindaraju, has helped a lot. It is not easy to organise the qualifiers of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup and Under-16 Women’s Asian Championships. They gave us very good conditions to prepare and we were very successful because of that,” he said.
Visic also said that Indian players would get more exposure if they played in overseas leagues.
At present, two Indian players-Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh- represent the Oklahoma City Thunder in the National Basketball Association (NBA) G League and the Sydney Thunder in the National Basketball League.
Mr.Visic was confident of the Indian hoopsters putting up a good show at next month’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The men’s team have been grouped with Cameron, England and Scotland in Pool B.
League would help understand potential of players: Gurumurthy Dilip, who was a member of the Indian Men’s basketball team at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, said that India will need to start a league else it would be difficult to know the potential of the players the standard of sport.
He added that a country like China was one of the powerhouses in the sport because they had started the league system 10-15 years back and that has ensured a continuous flow of newer players into the setup.
He added the BFI had not yet asked the former players for the formation of a league, but admitted that on a time-to-time basis they did request the senior players like him to work with the players.