I looked forward with a great deal of excitement building up inside me as I counted down the clock to evening, when I would leave office and rush to the Talkatora stadium to get a sample of the National Championships in action. Those not in the know would wonder how somebody could get excited just to watch a game. And that too a basketball game featuring Indian players!

Well, let me ask you something. If you are a metal head and in fact love to create your own music, and you heard that the country’s best bands were having a showdown. Wouldn’t you want to check it out? Not as an average fan who simply would go for the experience and be cool, but you, you would want to go to witness masters in a field in which you don’t consider yourself too bad. You would be aware of the intricacies, the hours of work that must have gone in to make the two hour extravaganza seem effortless. You would be aware of the time you have invested in your own music, just to be able to strum a basic smoke on the water.

Well basketball for me, is what western music is for you. It is addiction. And like any addiction, you want more of it. I’ve wanted to be at the right place at the right time for a long time. Thankfully, the National Championships in our national capital has fallen bang in the middle of my 5 week long internship in Delhi.

This is an incredible opportunity for nutheads in the game to headbang to every rejection (aka block), gyrate to every crossover, and hop up and down like maniacs in peak winter, as we see our country’s finest, putting on a show for everybody around.

To the more discerning follower of basketball, the National Championships, already underway, is a chance to see how India’s basketball has progressed in the last few years; considering the recent hype and the so called “revolution” in the game brought about by NBA’s foray into India. It is a chance to see how the players treat the National Championships.

Will the event be the same as it has been in the previous years? Or will there be a greater buzz in the air this time? How much has our maiden Asian Games experience helped shape our young Indian cagers? Are they putting more emphasis on fitness? Are they hustling more? Are they jumping any higher? Is there a fire in their eyes? All these questions and more will be answered over the next five days. Even more questions will pop up inevitably as well, after these games get over, as we get a clearer picture of where our players stand: in their skill level, team play and mental strength. Who knows, maybe an unknown face will get a chance to make a mark for him/herself in this tournament.

Enough said. Don’t come when the show is over.

Date: 28 December ’10 -4 January ’11

Venue: Talkatora Stadium & Modern School, Barakhamba

Time: 8:00am-8:00pm

Gopalakrishnan R
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