Babykutty, Greater Noida: The Jr NBA Elite National Camp that concluded last week glittered with expertise and results. 22 kids and 4 coaches from Kerala got the rare chance to be part of the 1st Reliance Foundation Jr NBA Elite National Camp held on the 3 indoor and outdoor basketball courts at Jaypee Greens, Greater Noida, India’s finest training facility.
Out of the 22 Kerala campers, 20 were selected from Kochi, and Sreekala and Aparna Sadasivan were picked from the BFI List. Sreekala was adjudged the most valuable player, earning her a pair of Nike basketball shoes, a Lakers bag and a Spalding basketball.
These players, along with select coaches, had the rare chance to meet and learn from NBA’s first Indian-origin player Sim Bhullar, who was in India on a promotional and personal trip. The 7’ 5’’ centre made available his expertise and experience to impart the best training to 140 participants in the programme hand-picked from all over India, (Punjab, Kolkata, New Delhi, Chennai, Maharashtra and Kerala).
“I am very excited to travel to India to see first-hand how basketball’s popularity has grown in India and to meet young basketball players across the country,” said Bhullar. “Hopefully sharing my story will help inspire young Indians to pursue their dreams on and off the court, just as I have,” he added.
The camp consisted of skills training, competitions, games, fitness training and team building exercises. It is the goal of the Reliance Foundation Jr NBA programme to promote health, fitness and an active lifestyle through basketball. The teams were received on 3rd May and the players were provided with socks, shorts and Jr NBA t-shirts, and were lodged in AC dormitories at the Jaypee Gardens, Greater Noida. The same day, players and coaches met in the evening.
On the second day players had to be ready at 6.30 am and after breakfast U13 and U16 players were divided into four groups for the sake of draft team games of 16 minutes each. The teams were coached by the assistant coaches selected from each city.
From the third day onwards, all the teams were on the court from 8 am and to 10.30 am. City-wise, teams were put up in 7 stations, each handling a different skillset:
1) Francisco Garcia (Spain) was working on guarding, strength and conditioning,
2) Tommy Heffelfinger (USA), working on fitness,
3) Senior Director Basketball Operations, NBA, Troy Justice, doing defence mechanisms,
4) Assistant Vice President (AVP) Basketball Operations of NBA China, Greg Stolt, training wing layers,
5) Senior Director, Basketball Operations of India, Carlos Barroca and India’s best Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, working on shooting,
6) Scott Flemming from USA, doing post plays
7) International players Mohit Bhandari and Sambhaji Kadam, doing ball handling and the former international players Shiba Maggon, Divya Singh, Sunitha Suren, Raspreet Sidhu and former youth national coach Paramdeep Singh, sharing their expertise and experience.
A half hour practice from 10.30 am to 11 am, followed by the shooting competitions at 11 am, concluding at 12 noon, formed the morning session.
After lunch from 3 to 6 pm, games of 40 minutes each were held. What was special about these games was that only man-to-man defence was permitted, and that too without full court pressing. From 7 pm to 8 pm, they were at the swimming pool. Dinner was served from 8 to 9.30 pm. From then on, were the cultural programmes. The fourth day also continued like this and on the final day after the 4o minutes games, ‘Hot Shot’ shooting competitions were held. Each player’s performance was screened and scrutinised with the help of videos before and after the camp.
About Jr NBA Programme 2014 in Kerala
In 2013, the NBA joined hands with the Reliance Foundation to launch the Reliance Foundation Jr NBA programmes in various Indian cities. Over the last two years, the programme reached more than one million youth in 1,000 schools in eight cities across the country. In Kerala last year, 110 schools participated in the 3-month camp held in Kochi, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Alapuzha and Thrissur. International coaches supported the programme implementation at each school and included the likes of Sydney Hydel and Jaja Richards from USA and Joa Rocha from Portugal. The local coaches under Head Coach Shibu Hormis were Raphel, Prem, Robert, Jithin, Akhil, Augustine Antony, Anil Soman, Disil Davis and Bert Jacob. Physical education instructors conducted weekly basketball-based physical education classes for grades 4-10 in their schools. In addition to the in-school programmes, an elite training programme was also conducted in three centres in Kottayam (Assumption College), Alapuzha (YMCA) and Rajagiri Public School (Ernakulum).
The Mission of the Coach
- To be positive all the times (on & off the court)
- To be a teacher all the time
- To demonstrate exercises & drills
- To give positive reinforcements to the players
- To avoid shouting at players
- To avoid Shouting at the referees
- To be on time
- To always be with your team
Ø Swimming Pool
Those attending from Kerala at the Programme from Kerala included:
Coaches: K O Oommen (Director Field Operations), Shibu Hormis (Head Coach), Prem Kumar, Desil Francis and Roggy Rose Mathew (Asst coaches)
Under 13 girls
- Lena Sheju – Mount Carmel School
- Merin Vargmees –CMI Central School
- Sandra Anil – Little Flower Koraty (L. F. C. H. S. S.)
- Ann Maria – CMI Central School
- Godsy T Joseph – St. Joseph Alleppy
Under 13 boys
- Noel Binny – St. Paul International
- Tom Kurian – Kristhan Jyothi H.S.S. Changanacherry
- Rusbeen – Leo XIII H.S.S. Alappuzha
- Rifas N – Nava Mirman School
- Ajay Andrews – Jyothi Nikethan S.S. School
Under 16 Girls:
- Neethu S. – St. Joseph, Alleppy
- Reeshma – St Thomas, Perumanoor
- Jaya Lakshmi V. J. – St. Joseph Alleppy
- Aswathy Sureh – Little Flower Koraty (L. F. C. H. S. S.)
- Srekala R – St Goerotty Schhol, Thiruvananthapuram
- Aparna Sadasivan – Little Flower HSS Koratty
Under 16 Boys
- Midhum Sunesh – Rajasree School
- Shloke Somanath – Navanirman School
- Nirmal Joseph – Leo XIII H.S.S. Alappuzha
- Gringo Mathew Varghese – Little Flower Koraty (L. F. C. H. S. S.)
- Jithin George – Girideepam Bethany H. S. S.