UBA Pro Basketball Season 3: Jon Kimberlin, director of coaches, expects Haryana Gold to go all the way
He can be often spotted by the sidelines of the basketball court at the ongoing UBA Pro Basketball League Season-3 at the Balewadi Sports Complex. Jon laughs, gets annoyed, smiles or even vents his anger on the bottle when the referee gives a wrong decision or the players commit a foul.
Meet Jon Kimberlin, 53, whose emotions are directly proportional to that of the coaches and players.That is how much he is involved with the players, coaches and most of all the game of basketball. Arizona’s Jon has been with the UBA for more than two years now.
He is quite expressive, on and off the basketball court. Speaking about his love for the game, “I have spent 25 years with the game. I am bound to still be in love with the game, aren’t I?” he smiles. He trains the players and coaches for the ongoing UBA league. His job for him is quite intriguing. While a match is on, Jon never forgets to share friendly banter while his advices are certainly a valuable asset for the players and coaches.
So what got the UBA to India, we quizzed him. “The officials surely saw the growing popularity of the game in the country. I have seen the crowd, they certainly love basketball. The coaches and the players are in love with the game. I guess because of these reasons, the UBA wanted to start a league here and I am happy that they did,” he says. Jon loves his stay in India and especially Pune. “The people here are warm and they are always ready to help,” he explains.
He is a true American and basketball does run in his veins. Belonging to a typical American family, he was easily drawn towards the game at a young age. Since then he has always been related to the sport in some way or the other way. Jon owes his love for the game to his father, Jerry.
Over the years, the game has kept him rooted to his values. “That is what the game does to you. The game teaches you the important lessons of life,” he proudly smiles. Back home in Arizona, Jon used to teach basketball at the schools and colleges. “I feel my life is worth when my students come and tell how the game has changed their life,” he says, while he fondly talks about his experience of teaching the young players. “I feed off their energy,” says Jon, as his strength and zeal could give any basketball player a run for their money.
Jon has been closely monitoring the UBA team’s coaches and players since two seasons. He certainly fancies Haryana Gold’s coach Pawan Kumar. “I would surely put my money on Haryana Gold this season. The coach has transformed the team and taken it to the next level. The team has been performing really this season,” says Jon. He quite proud of the Bengaluru Beats shooter and skipper Kaif Zia and the way he has moulded himself as a player. “He will surely go a long way if he continues to perform the same way,” adds Jon.