Ever wondered what goes on in the minds of foreigners living in India, especially those who are passionate about basketball? We all see Americans, Koreans, Africans and people from other nationalities playing pick up hoops in our respective cities. Bryan Anton Rose is one such American who has been living and working in Kolkata, India for the last five years. With experience in filmmaking and fondness for his ‘adopted country’, Bryan hopes to work towards development of grassroots basketball in India. Learn his unique story.
1st Quarter “Before India”
Bryan Anton Rose was born in the United States in 1983, the youngest of 3 sons. He was forced into a competitive sports environment, which, where he is from, is a form of acceptance and approval. With a secret passion for film that was not made public until his senior year of high school, and despite having received writing accolades as a teenager, he accepted a scholarship to play American football at Fork Union Military Academy. Bryan completed a year of post graduate education before focusing full time on film making. In 2010, his journey of being an artist carried him to India to lecture at schools in Tamil Nadu, Bryan also saw this as an opportunity to learn a different style of film. On what motivates him, “It was hard on my parents when I decided to become a Film Director, so pleasing them is a motivating factor, but more than anything is my relationship with God. Jesus has constantly been the center of my life and will always be my biggest motivator.”
2nd Quarter “First taste of India Basketball”
Bryan is in Chennai volunteering at a church sponsored Youth Event, he sees a basketball court and immediately knows his station. He teaches the basic fundamentals of basketball, layup lines, dribbling and shooting drills, with guys and girls. He sees that their skills are very mediocre, but is impressed by how fast they are picking it up, and loves how willing they are to learn. He ends the teaching, and plays by himself, imagining as if he is playing in the NBA. A crowd surrounds Bryan just to watch him.
“That was my first experience of basketball in India. Everyone was surprised by how well I moved and my skill set. Rumors started that I played in the NBA haha! They had never seen anyone play basketball with that much aggression & arrogance, but they had just never seen American basketball culture before,” he recalls.
Halftime “Sports Back Story” Bryan comes from a family of sportsman with mostly all continuing their athletic careers into College and the Pros and Bryan was no different. Growing up in Illinois, everyone played baseball in the summer, American football during the Autumn season and basketball during the Winter and Spring. “Basketball differs from the other sports as we played basketball during the other seasons, often in our football and baseball uniforms.” Bryan remembers, “There was always a battle, who was the best player at the park, who is the best in the city, best in state. I was always having to prove myself as the best player on my side of the city, constant competition. The payoff was not only praise and attention from everyone of all ages, but a full college scholarship and hopefully a multi-million dollar professional career with fame and prestige. Where I am from, basketball is a vital part of life.”
3rd Quarter “Commercial Film Director-Management Consultant”
Bryan is now a seasoned resident of India, a full time Commercial Film Director and Management Consultant. His primary focus has been combining India film-making style with his American Film background, along with establishing American industries in India to bring jobs to the country. As an ambassador, Bryan has established himself as a bridge between India and America on a state level, partnering with U.S governors, metro city mayors and Indian Chief ministers.
In early 2014, Bryan got a strong urge to get back in shape, playing basketball. In Kolkata, he bought a basketball and went out in search of a park where he could regain his love for sport. A few weeks passed with him searching for a court, but found he was unsuccessful. “The wonderful Armenian church on Park street gave me permission to play basketball in their hostel grounds, but I became disillusioned with the reality that basketball was not available to everyone, like it is in America. He made an internal decision,“If India was to be my home now, I need to do more for the youth of India.”
4th Quarter “Basketball Plans for India”
Present day, what started as a three week visit to America has turned into many months in the US of reflection and organization for Bryan. Reflecting on how his heart was when he originally came to India, he has now moved on to organizing ideas to directly benefit India, other than in film and business. He has begun working non-stop to brand and build basketball in India, connecting with American sponsors, American professional athletes and coaches.
“The goal is to establish a professional basketball association that players and coaches from all over the world are vying to play in for full seasons. I will create travelling to basketball tournaments all over India and building camaraderie in local Indian communities. Perhaps introduce a developmental league, not only for those hoping to play professional basketball domestically and abroad, but also for those hoping for scholarships to college. Most importantly what I will do is establish a basketball culture in India. Basketball players walk a certain way, talk a certain way, representing local communities, the state and country.”
Overtime “Hoop Dreams becoming a Reality”
Often times in India people get inspired to create initiatives like what Mr. Rose is proposing. Bryan reveals that a wedding in India is coming soon, and he has already made arrangements to purchase a flat in the New Town section of Kolkata. It is very rare to have someone from Bryan’s background decide to make roots in India, and when this question is brought to Bryan’s attention, he replies, “I was warned a few years ago that Kolkata can get in your bones, and it has, all of India has, for that matter. I have learned how to build, and I understand it takes time, but I am in this for the long haul and I see all the goals I have set for my time in India will continue to be developed. I will definitely live to see the Hoop Dreams of India become a reality.”