April 29, 2012

Goodbye Jersey, Hello Brooklyn

Hello Brooklyn… How you do? Where you goin’? Can I come too?

After 35 years in the NBA (and 10 years previously in the ABA), professional basketball is leaving Newark, New Jersey, and shifting to Brooklyn, New York. The team played its final game as the ‘New Jersey Nets’ versus the Toronto Raptors on April 26th, an embarrassing 98-67 loss, their sixth in a row which ended their final season in Newark with a forgettable 22-44 record.

A tribute to the end of the New Jersey Nets era... And a future for the Brooklyn Nets.

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April 28, 2012

Upset Watch 2012: Playoffs 1st Round Preview

What’s going to happen in the first round of the playoffs? Do the Knicks have a chance over the Heat? Can Jazz upset the Spurs? What about the Dwight-less Magic versus the Pacers? Here is my wholly unscientific breakdown, in ascending order, from the team least likely to cause an upset to the one most likely.

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April 22, 2012

Woodstock School wins the Win Mumby Basketball Tournament in Mussoorie

Woodstock School (Boys) and Modern School Barakhamba (Girls) won the 12th Win Mumby All India Basketball Tournament, held at Woodstock School in Mussoorie from April 18-21, 2012.

Growing up in boarding school in Mussoorie, April was usually one of my favourite times of the year. April meant spring, warm weather in a place that is usually either cold or rainy, and most importantly, it was BASKETBALL SEASON! My school - Woodstock School - has been hosting the Win Mumby All India Basketball Tournament for over a decade now, and it is by far the most exciting time to be up there. Some of the best school teams from all Mussoorie, Dehradun (the hub of India's finest boarding schools, by the way) and even down out from Shimla, Nainital, Delhi and Punjab send teams up for this tournament. Basketball has historically been Woodstock's best sport, and the host team has always been amongst the favourites to host the trophy.

I graduated from the school in 2003, the year when our team won most of the school basketball tournaments up in the Doon Valley, including Win Mumby and the Afzal Khan trophy in Doon School, Dehradun.

Coming into the 12th year of the tournament, Woodstock had one of the best teams again. Woodstock Boys were the reigning champs. The usual favourites were present, including Welham's Boys' and Girls' Schools from Dehradun, Modern School from Barakhamba, Delhi, and Doon School. I return to Woodstock often, and have been back again this year to re-live my favourite high-school moment.

The tournament started on Wednesday, April 18th, featuring nine boys teams and eight girls teams. Here are the teams that took part:

Boys: Welham Boys' School (Dehradun), Doon International School (Dehradun), Modern School Barakhamba (New Delhi), Yadavindra Public School (Patiala), The Shri Ram School (New Delhi), Sherwood College (Nainital), Wynberg-Allen School (Mussoorie), The Doon School (Dehradun), Woodstock School (Mussoorie).
Girls: Welham Girls' School (Dehradun), The Lawrence School (Sanawar), Modern School Barakhamba (New Delhi), The Shri Ram School (New Delhi), Wynberg-Allen School (Mussoorie), Tibetan Homes School (Mussoorie), Hopetown Girls School (Dehradun), Woodstock School (Mussoorie).

Woodstock's Boys team played well, except for a tough loss to Welham Boys' in the eve of the Final. After defeating Modern School in the Semi, Woodstock faced Welham's again in the Final on Saturday, April 21st. Woodstock responded well to win the crucial game and secure the trophy for the second year in a row, 47-42. Matthew Sailo of Woodstock was handed the Boys' MVP award.

In the Girls' final, Modern School from Delhi defeated Welham Girls' School in a rout, 66-37, to lift the trophy. Madhu Kumari of Modern School was the MVP and stepped up with a defining performance in the Final to claim her case.

Too bad Woodstock Girls lost in the Semi-Final - I'll be rooting them (in spirit, if not in presence) next year, and for the Boys to make it three in a row. Go Tigers!

April 20, 2012

Four Seasons

How much can you go through in four months and 66 games? Ask the New York Knicks, who in one single season of basketball, have gone through four different types of seasons themselves.

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April 18, 2012

Mahindra NBA Challenge Hosts the First-Ever Generation adidas Players Programme

NBA-India Press Release: The Mahindra NBA Challenge hosted the first-ever Generation adidas Players Programme clinic as part of the ongoing third season’s activities at Modern School in New Delhi on April 15th.

The Delhi leg of the Mahindra NBA Challenge featured a new player development programme called Generation adidas Players. As part of the programme, 40 up and coming players from the boys and girls U 13 and U 16 divisions were selected to participate in two exclusive Generation adidas clinics during the season in Delhi.

The top eight players selected from the clinics will receive one year of specialised training and adidas basketball gear. Generation adidas will launch in each subsequent city with a goal of identifying and nurturing the next generation of basketball talent across the country.

"The NBA and adidas share a long-term commitment to grow basketball globally and are encouraged by the tremendous amount of untapped potential we see in India," said NBA India Senior Director of Development Akash Jain. “The first-ever Generation adidas Players programme is an important initiative to help identify and nurture young basketball talent in India.”

The first clinic conducted will be followed by a second that will be held towards the end of the season. Clinics will be conducted in combine style wherein the participants will be put through various physical and basketball tests.

Troy Justice, Sr. Director, Basketball Operations, NBA India, along with other local officials in each city will identify and select ‘up and coming’ talent. The programme will be monitored every month to ensure quality coaching for the players selected.

April 15, 2012

Indian Basketball All-Star showcase in Mumbai from May 3-5

For the third year, the Mastan YMCA basketball court in Nagpada, Mumbai, will host the best of the best in Indian hoops talent in India’s own version of the basketball All Star weekend, from May 3-5, 2012.

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April 13, 2012

FIBA Asia has a new Secretary-General: Hagop Khajirian

FIBA Asia Press Release Hagop Khajirian will take over the post of the FIBA Secretary General following his unanimous election to that post at the FIBA Asia Central Board meeting on Friday after Dato’ Yeoh Choo Hock the current FIBA Asia Secretary General relinquished his post due to health reasons.

The FIBA Asia Central Board thanked Dato’ Yeoh for long and enduring years of service to FIBA Asia and noted that he will always be the inspiration for future basketball administrators.

“Dato Yeoh’s contribution to basketball came at a time when the sport was taking its initial steps. Therefore the amount of sacrifice he has made for the sport is unmatchable,” noted FIBA Asia President Sheikh Saud Ali Thani.

Khajirian, currently the FIBA Asia Deputy Secretary General, came into prominence as the founder Secretary General of the West Asian Basketball Association in 1998 and joined the FIBA Asia Central Board.

Khajirian went on to become a FIBA Asia Executive Committee member when he became the Deputy Secretary General in 2002 and has held the post till then.

Under Khajirian’s leadership, WABA as a FIBA Asia sub-zone took giant strides with at least one team from WABA figuring in the semifinals of all the last seven FIBA Asia Championships.

Further, as the Chairman of the Marketing and Media Permanent Committee and as the Chief of Operations for all events, Khajirian has created an efficient and effective blueprint for all FIBA Asia events.

“It is a great responsibility and privilege to be elected to this post,” said Khajirian post his election.

“It’s an honor at the same time a challenge. I will be following the footsteps of Dato Yeoh to carry out my responsibilities. Dato Yeoh’s methods are excellent guidelines for all of us to follow,” he said.

April 12, 2012

Foreign Basketball Coaches to host ‘Train the Trainers’ Clinic

The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) has announced that its three foreign coaches – Kenny Natt, Pete Gaudet, and Zak Penwell – will be hosting a first-of-its-kind, formalised ‘Train the Trainers’ Clinic for Indian basketball coaches from April 13-15th at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi.

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April 8, 2012

Roopam Sharma elected Honorary Secretary of the Delhi Basketball Association

Roopam Sharma, the newly appointed CEO of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI), was also elected as the Honorary Secretary of the Delhi Basketball Association (DBA) via unanimous vote at a DBA Executive Committee Meeting. The widow of BFI's former CEO Harish Sharma, Roopam Sharma also follows her late husband as the DBA's Honorary Secretary.

According to the BFI, Sharma will be in charge of the day to day activities of the DBA as well as all basketball events that take place in Delhi. Roopam Sharma on behalf of the Basketball Federation of India would extend all the support needed to facilitate the DBA functioning.

Ms. Sharma added that "The additional responsibilities conferred on me by the DBA, it will be my duty to work with the utmost sincerity and dedication to bring in positive initiatives to promote basketball in Delhi. I will remain committed to cater to the challenges at all times but most importantly, I look forward to working in a cohesive manner to take the game forward."

April 6, 2012

Welcome to the Anthony Davis Tankfest

It's a good time to join the bandwagon of a bad NBA team. One of them is just a pick away from being popular again.

An NBA season has a number of seasons within the season. Of course, there is the pre-season, regular season, and post-season. Then there is the draft season, the free agency season, the trade deadline season, the pre-All-Star season and the post-All-Star season.

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April 3, 2012

Kentucky wins 2012 NCAA Championship

One of the greatest college teams assembled on paper would’ve remained just that – ‘on paper’ – if they didn’t truly live up to their potential and capture the biggest win in college basketball. The University of Kentucky Wildcats did just that on April 3rd, 2012 by defeating Kansas University Jayhawks 67-59 in the final to capture the NCAA Men’s Championship. In the process, Kentucky won their 8th-ever national championship but the first for revolutionary coach John Calipari. The final featured the top two most successful basketball programmes in NCAA history.

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April 1, 2012

Marbury’s Fall; Ma Bu Li’s Redemption

Earlier this week, Stephon Marbury, a talented player mostly remembered as a ‘failure’ in the NBA finally reached redemption in his topsy-turvy basketball career by finally winning his first championship at the age of 35… in China. Marbury fell, but finally, Ma Bu Li achieved redemption.

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