They may be young, but years from now, it will be these same young faces who will dominate basketball in India.
The sunny beaches of Goa welcomed 49 under-14 basketball squads from 26 states across India for the 39th National Basketball Championship for Sub-Junior Boys & Girls. The ‘Sub-Junior Nationals’ are being held from May 6-12, 2012 at the Agnel Charities in Agnel Ashram at Verna, Salcete. The tournament is being organised by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and the Goa Basketball Association.
The opening ceremony was held on Sunday, May 6th. Goa’s Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was present to officially inaugurate the tournament on the first day of the games.
Boys: Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Punjab, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal.
Girls: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal.
On the first day of matches, Kerala’s Girls, who have always been a competitive force in Women’s basketball in India, came out on fire against West Bengal, defeating them 44-11.
West Bengal’s Boys’ team had a much better start to the competition, as they came out in full force to shock a higher-rated Uttar Pradesh team in a thriller, 76-75. West Bengal’s efforts were led by their big three scorers of Binod Rajak (26), Suman (24), and Saddam Hussein (20). Pramod (18) and Vivek (17) led UP.
In another opening match day, Jammu & Kashmir’s Boys’ team were completely listless against Delhi, scoring only two points as Delhi cruised to the easiest of wins, 45-2. Tamil Nadu Boys were led by Ja Shan (16) as they defeated Odisha 51-37.
The previous (38th) Sub-Junior Nationals were held in Lucknow and won by Maharashtra (Boys) and Chhattisgarh (Girls).
Earlier, in his brief address to the assembled crowd at the opening ceremony, Goa’s CM Manohar Parrikar promised greater assistance in improving the existing facilities at Agnel Ashram and in improving basketball infrastructure in general to give the game a much-needed boost.
BFI’s CEO Roopam Sharma also spoke at the event, noting that 39th edition of the Sub-Junior Nationals had the maximum participation ever in the event. She encouraged the participating team to replicate the leadership skills of her late husband BFI’s former CEO Harish Sharma. She concluded by expressing the hope that the tie-up between BFI and IMG-Reliance would eventually help the growth of professional basketball in India.
Major Results from Day 1
West Bengal (Binod Rajak 26, Suman 24, Saddam Hussein 20) bt. Uttar Pradesh (Pramod 18, Vivek 17) 76-75.
Delhi bt. Jammu & Kashmir 45-2.
Tamil Nadu (Ja Shan 16, P Baladhanshwar 15) bt. Odisha 51-37.
Rajasthan (Akash 24, Mohit 18) bt. Kerala 66-12.
Kerala (NP Adhika 13) bt. West Bengal 44-11.
Jharkhand (Usha 18) bt. Himachal Pradesh 36-21.