JD Walsh to hold basketball camp in Mizoram
Wherever he goes, he brings an international spotlight on the local basketball scene. To most of the places where NBA basketball is just something they watch on TV, he brings a tangible presence of global basketball. JD Walsh has been to Delhi, Kashmir, Mumbai, Punjab, Pune, Chennai, Kerala, Maharashtra, Noida, Kolkata and and other parts of India. (1) And now he is off to Mizoram.
The program in Mizoram will be held from 8 to 11 November. It will involve two sessions every day, one for players and one for coaches. The impact of JD’s visit won’t be exclusive to the duration of his stay. He is going to connect with budding talent who will get a glimpse of how high they can reach by following their passion for the sport.
Mizoram is one of the states nestled in the hills of North East India. The following passage is via their website:
Mizoram is our homeland
It is not given or gotten as a gift
It is not acquired by privilege
Or potential contracts
It is not bought with gold or held by the force
No, it is made with us the sweat of the brow
It is the historic creation
And the collective enterprise of a people
Bodily, spiritual and moral
Over a span of generations.
Mizoram has produced a National level player in the past, who is 5 ft 8 inches tall, and learned the game mostly from watching it on TV and practicing. His name is H. Laldinsanga, and he is involved with the Mizoram Basketball Association now. (2)
Mr. Charlosanga Ralte, who is coordinating with JD on this visit had this to say on the tentative idea of the program:
“We are really looking forward to JD’s coaching program here in Aizawl, Mizoram, although it’s only for a few days. Our main target age group will be between 12 years-16 years. The sports ministry in Mizoram is running a state program called ‘Catch them Young’ policy in which the Mizoram Basketball Association is having 20 kids who are below 14 years in this coaching program.
Since JD’s time is limited we will be targeting these kids as well as other players whom the association has selected within the age group of up to 16 years below.
It is a privilege to be able to get JD for this short period with the recognition and sponsorship from the state government.”
China had followed a similar model of player development targeting the next generation of athletes, that helped them to compete at such a high level now. Overage players (like me) may feel that they are being left out, but we are already in a position to make an impact, if we are capable and skilled (unlike me), and we should not grudge the younger talent their chance to shine.
Basketball is quite popular in North East India. With the focus on the development of younger generation, the future looks quite bright. Keep your ears peeled for the echo of dribbling basketballs in the hills.
(1) JD Walsh’s experience in India.
(2) An article in Indian Express about H. Laldinsanga