Next is now! There has been a lot of promise of the upcoming basketball talent of India, and of the players who will help the sport ascend to a higher level in the future. There is no better time to catch that talent than the 2012 Junior (under 18) Nationals: On May 23, the 63rd Junior National Basketball Championship for Boys & Girls tipped off at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in the southern province of Puducherry.
Organised by the Puducherry State Basketball Association under the aegis of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI), the championship will see 51 teams participating from all across the country: 26 in the boys’ division and 25 in the girls’ division. The tournament will be held for eight days with the Finals scheduled for May, 30th, 2012.
Group A: Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi.
Group B: Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka, Odhisa.
Group C: Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, West Bengal.
Group D: Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand.
Group E: Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Jharkhand, Tripura.
Group F: Assam, Bihar, Meghalaya, Puducherry.
Group A: Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab.
Group B: Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Puducherry.
Group C: Odhisa, Chandigarh, Goa.
Group D: Rajasthan, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttarakhand.
Group E: Haryana, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya.
Group F: West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand.
Tamil Nadu (Boys) and Kerala (Girls) are the reigning champions after winning gold at the 62nd Junior Nationals in New Delhi last year.
The opening ceremony of the tournament was held on Wednesday, May 23rd – the first day of the competition – and straight away, there was a whole lot of basketball action to catch up with! Reigning champions in the Boys’ section, Tamil Nadu, dropped their first game after a shock loss to the energetic team from Delhi. Led by India international Narendar Grewal’s 23 points, Delhi paced away from TN in the third quarter after a close first half to finish with an 80-65 victory. Nikhil added 16 points for the Delhi squad, while TN’s experienced hoopster S. Karthickeyen scored 24 to lead his squad.
Last year’s other finalists – Madhya Pradesh Boys – also had an inauspicious start to their proceedings after dropping a thriller to Punjab, 56-53. Punjab, led by Gurvinder Singh Gill (16) dominated most of the game before a late MP comeback.
In Girls’ action, reigning champs Kerala continued where they left off, easily cruising past Karnataka 52-32 behind 16 points by Anjana PS. Tamil Nadu Girls started off the tournament by punishing Puducherry on their home court, 41-7.
Get all of the daily updated results from the tournament from the BFI’s official website.
Delhi (Narender Grewal 23, Nikhil 16, Rakesh 15) bt. Tamil Nadu (S. Karthickeyen 24, B. Arun Prasanth 13) 80-65 (21-18, 14-13, 23-15, 22-19).
Punjab (Gurvinder Singh Gill 16) bt. Madhya Pradesh 56-53 (18-8, 16-10, 12-19, 10-16).
Chhattisgarh (Shyam Sunder 15, Ajay Pratap Singh 14) bt. Maharashtra (Saleem Malik 14) 75-56 (14-13, 22-15, 15-14, 24-14).
Chhattisgarh (Poonam Chaturvedi 41, Saranjeet Kaur 19, Anjana Daisy Ekka 14) bt. Madhya Pradesh (Amishi 14) 87-36 (29-8, 36-13, 16-11, 16-4).
Kerala (Anjana PS 16) bt Karnataka 52-32 (20-3, 11-4, 7-14, 14-11).
Tamil Nadu bt. Puducherry 41-7 (14-2, 8-5, 11-0, 8-0).