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Babykutty, Press Release: The 65th National Basketball Championship for Junior Men & Women will be held at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Kochi from 26th May –2nd June 2014. Organized by the Kerala Basketball Association under the auspices of Basketball Federation of India, this Junior Championship is coming over to Kerala after a gap of 37 years. It was in 1977 that the last Junior Championship was held in Thrissur. This national event will comprise 24 teams in the Jr Men’s section and 23 in Jr women and will have 1000 participants in total including referees, coaches, officials & members of the basketball fraternity.

A 100 member organizing committee has been formed for the smooth conduct of the championship under the chairmanship of MG Rajamanickam with K .G. James IPS (Commissioner of Police, Kochi City), V. Manohar Prabhu (Secretary, RSC), B. J. Antony (RTO, Ernakulam) as Vice chairmen and Kerala Basketball Association President: K. Manoharakumar as President. Vice Presidents are Dr. M.M. Chacko, V.C. Hashim, Shaji Jacob and Prof. K.A. Raju. S.A.S. Navaz IRS will be the  Championship Director. Organizing Secretaries will be P.J. Sunny and P.P. Varghese. Joseph C. Joseph will be the  General Convener. Finance Committee Chairman will be  P.L. Prakash James. Convener will be Prince Chandy, Joint Secretaries are K.A. Simon, George C.S., Jaison Peter and Joint General Conveners are Adv. Saleem K.A., K. O. Oommen and P. Jacob.

The Championship will be officially opened by Hibi Eden MLA, presided over by Arjuna Award winner and President of Kerala State Sports Council Padmini Thomas in presence of  Secretary General of BFI Ajay Sud and Technical Committee Chairman G M Sampath Kumar.

The Championship will be played on a league cum knock out basis. Chhattisgarh Jr Women and Punjab Jr Men are the reigning champions in each division while Kerala Jr Women and Delhi Jr Men are the runners up. Kerala Jr Men was placed 4th position in the last edition. The championship will feature present senior Indian stars Poojamol KS of Kerala and Sharanjit Kaur of Chhattisgarh, while Kerala Jr Women will have the presence of  Elizabeth Hillarios, Vimmy Varkey and Mayuka KT and presence of another Malayalee International Sruthi Menon representing Maharashtra.

Kerala women under Sebastian having a last minute work out at the Indoor Stadium in Kochi.

Kerala women under Coach Sebastian having a last minute work out at the Indoor Stadium in Kochi.

There will be two basketball courts ready at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium with Hydraulic Basketball Uprights and Electronic Score Boards the main Court will have a newly purchased basketball board worth Rs. 26 lakhs, which includes an LED score board that could be controlled from the side desk by remote control, will be  functioning  for the first time. This is a FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Level 1 approved basketball backboard and is the first board of its kind imported to India from M/s. Schelde Sports, Belgium. The board is the best board available in the world and is suitable for play at all levels including conducting national & international competitions.

The Finals will be played on 2nd June 2014. The championship will also carry a prize money to the tune of Rs 1 lakh for the winners, Rs 75,000 for the runners up and Rs 50,000 for the bronze medalists.

Gopalakrishnan R
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