Is UBA India's answer to the NBA?
Indian fans rooting for NBA teams
The winter is a favourite season for many basketball fans in India. After all it is when their television set starts beaming action from games played in another part of the globe. As they scream and cheer from their lounges and sports bars, these fans spare no energy in lustily cheering their heroes even they represent some team on the American continent that has barely anything in common to their lives. With hardly any action at home being televised, Indians have to let their imagination sail with the NBA games to appease their thirst for a good game of basketball. But soon things could change – the Universal Basketball Alliance (UBA) is working at the grass roots level to promote basketball excellence through their involvement with the game at the university level.
The national team has made some positive strides in the recent past with some committed performances in both India and abroad, but there is a general agreement about the need for significant improvement and consistency. Excellence in sport needs the right infrastructure and suitable support structures to enable the players give their best on the court. India can only aspire for greater success in basketball only when the game is nourished from the bottom rungs and players are afforded the right environment to deliver their best.
UBA can help improve the sport in India
UBA’s initiative, if successful, can bring forth a transformative impact to the game of basketball in our country. The growth of franchise sport in recent years has fuelled a sudden spurt of growth for sport in India. And there is no reason why basketball cannot ride the way, just as football, hockey and kabaddi sought to in the recent past. It is in this light that the tournament in Chennai between university teams assumes significance for Indian basketball.
Tuesday saw the launch of a new competition, under the banner of the UBA. Anju Bobby George, the celebrated long jumper was on hand in Chennai to inaugurate the event. “Sports is not all about winning. Winning and losing is part of life. You should have guts to lose, only then will you have the courage to win,” she told the young players. “I have lost more competitions that I have won. There will be more opportunities for basketball as Indian economy continues to grow. Hope some of you will take the lead tomorrow in achieving far greater heights than I have achieved in my career.”
Chennai is witnessing the beginning of a new dream with the UBA All India Inter-University Basketball Tournament for Men 2014-15, that tipped off on Tuesday at the Sathyabama University, Chennai courts. Jain University from Bengaluru, the University of Madras from Chennai and Bharatiar University, Coimbatore made a positive start scoring comfortable victories over their respective opponents from the East Zone.
Only time will tell if the UBA can indeed deliver a sporting realm that is as exciting as the NBA. Many will hope that the seeds being sown in Chennai this week grow into a tree that helps spread the game deeper into the consciousness of our nation. There are 16 teams from different universities from across the country competing this week for a share of the honours, drawn into four zones.
1. Sathyabama University, Chennai
2. Madras University, Chennai
3. Bharathiar University, Coimbatore
4. Jain University, Bengaluru
1. Punjab University, Chandigarh
2. Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
3. University of Delhi, Delhi
4. Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi
1. Mahatma Gandhi Kasi Vidyapeeth University, Varanasi
2. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur
3. Burdwan University, Burdwan
4. Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanshal University, Jaunpur
1. Bharati Vidya Peet University, Pune
2. University of Rajasthan, Jaipur
3. Savitribai Phule University, Pune
4. Shivaji University, Kolhapur
Results from 12th January 2015
Outdoor Court ‘A’
Jain University, Bengaluru (Kaif Zia 20, Visu Palani 17, Michael 11) bt Burdwan University, Burdwan,
West Bengal (Ranjoy P 16, Rahul J 12, Siva R 10, Raj M 10) 61-48 [18-16, 14-12, 14-6, 15-14]
University of Madras, Chennai (Vinoth 17, Karthikeyan 14, R Nagaraj 13) bt MG Kasi Vidya Peet
University, Varanasi (H Singh 13, AK Singh 13) 84-55 [19-12, 13-22, 28-10, 24-11]
Outdoor Court ‘B’
Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur (Kiranpal Singh 30, Ajay Pratap Singh 25) bt University of
Delhi (Pulkit Sachdeva 12, Ankit 11) 74-54 [20-12, 28-16, 11-14, 15-12]
Bharatiar University, Coimbatore (Benny 15, Gopi 14, Jeyaseelam 11) bt Veer Bahadur Singh
Purvanshal University, Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh (Zeeshan Shahid 14, Anshliman Singh 9, Shashank Paliwal 5) 77-50 [29-15, 16-7, 15-17, 17-11]