UBA: Pune Peshwas' Ajinkya Mehta explains why he chose basketball over cricket
They are the dynamic strike force of the side. They, along with the team members, have made them proud in many ways, and rightly so: they were the runners-up in the last edition of the championship. Meet the brothers-in-arms, Ajinkya and Arjun Mehta, the only brothers’ force in the United Basketball Alliance, Indian Pro Basketball League (UBA) for their side Pune Peshwas in the league which kicked off in Pune on Thursday.
Dunking as early as they were six years of age, Ajinkya and Arjun have taken up this sport all because it runs in the blood. Father Vivek, and mother have played this game, and this duo are carrying on from where their parents left off. And their passion and dedication for the game have seen them reach new heights. Sportskeeda caught up with Ajinkya, the younger among the two on the eve of their first campaign in the second edition of the UBA, here in Pune.
On his choice...
I did try other sports like cricket, tennis, but I liked this game because it is more of a team sport. This gives one a feeling that the team effort is more satisfying than individual. That feeling of team winning is more rewarding, and of course, this sport is in our family, and I carry it from my parents.
Why not cricket?
I do agree cricket is played in gullies and everywhere, and we in India say that it is worshiped, but for me it is not. People are carried away by the money that is in the game and every parent wants his son to be Sachin Tendulkar.
Passion. I am sure everyone does have passion for one thing or the other. And for me, it is basketball. This game just not builds a good team, but a good physique. This is a body-contact game. The fact that many legends were made because of their passion for anything and for me, it is basketball which is the driving force and that is the passion I have for the game.
On his trip to US...
It was a great exposure. I wish everyone gets a chance to visit such places wherein they can build their image and improve their game. I did get to play with many of the stalwarts of basketball and I do miss that I did not get a chance to see my idol Michael Jordan. The infrastructure is something which is amazing in the US.
On home turf...
Infrastructure is one setback for us in India. Basketball is an indoor game, but in India, we play outdoors more than indoors, as there are no facilities to play indoors. I am sure we cannot compare the opportunities which are abroad. In the US, coaching, infrastructure and the people managing the game are way ahead from what is here in India. I am sure we will find some changes in days to come.
This league has turned a new leaf for the cagers. Apart from the monetary benefits, the best part is the players get to play with the best players in the country. Thanks to the Universal Basketball Alliance India Pvt. Ltd, this Indian Pro Basketball League is a new chapter in basketball in the country.
On this second edition...
We have a good side, but it all depends on the match day how the players deliver. Top players from across the country are there, it will be a tough encounter.