The 9 Indian players with the UBA organising contingent. Images courtesy: UBA.

Players standing L to R: Ramkumar, P Vijay, Ajinkya Mehta, Ravi Bhardwaj, Sartaj Sandhu, Jagdeep Bains, Yudhvir Singh, Gurvinder Gill, Kaif Zia. Rightmost: UBA India CEO Deepesh Solanki

  • 9 Indian ballers currently training at the Kiwanis Recreation Centre, Tempe in Phoenix that is being held from 11-24th
  • 8 of these 9 players belong to various franchises from the UBA Pro League, India’s first professional league in basketball
  • Specially designed professional basketball workout programmes with scouts in attendance
  • The contingent also experienced the dream of watching their first NBA game

Continuing to build on its pioneering Indian Pro Basketball League earlier this year, the Universal Basketball Alliance of India (UBAI) group has sent 9 of its top pro league talents to an off-season training camp in the US. The camp is being conducted at the Kiwanis Recreation Centre in Tempe, an urban suburb of Phoenix, the capital of the southern state of Arizona. The two weeklong camp began on 11th November and will continue till the 24th.

8 of these 9 players belong to various franchises from the inaugural pro basketball league that was held in Hyderabad earlier this August. The remaining participant is former Indian international from Punjab, Jagdeep Singh Bains, who, besides his own achievements, is known to be the role model for Satnam Singh Bhamara, the first Indian National in the NBA. Bains is said to be part of the squad in the dual capacity of a player-coach. Current senior Indian international Gurvinder Singh Gill is also part of the travelling contingent.

UBA Pro League ballers Ajinkya Mehta (left) and Gurvinder Singh Gill undergo vertical jump training.

UBA Pro League ballers Ajinkya Mehta (left) and Gurvinder Singh Gill undergo vertical jump training.

The following is the list of participating players:

  1. Jagdeep Bains, (Punjab & Senior India International)
  2. Gurvinder Singh Gill (UBA franchise Punjab Steelers & Current Senior India)
  3. Ravi Bhardwaj (Punjab Steelers, named MVP in inaugural season)
  4. Sartaj Singh (Punjab Steelers)
  5. Yudhvir Singh (Delhi Capitals)
  6. Vijay (Pune Peshwas)
  7. Ramkumar (Chennai Slam)
  8. Kaife Azam Zia (Bengaluru Beast)
  9. Ajinkya Mehta (Pune Peshwas)

Mr Deepesh Solanki, the CEO of UBA-India, who is personally accompanying the contingent said, “This program has been specially designed by professional coaches for our players. Scouts have been invited as well and we are confident that this initiative will re-energize and transform the performance of these elite talents going into season 2 of the UBA India Pro Basketball League.”

Veteran Jagdeep Singh Bains added, “This UBA camp has been brilliant so far. The coaches, gym trainers and virtually every facility that is needed by a sportperson and is currently missing in India, has been made available to us. This kind of training that UBA is providing for us will benefit India tremendously.”

The players have been sweating it out through as many as four daily sessions that included basketball practices, strength and conditioning workouts, and physiotherapy. It was not all work as they got a chance to witness their first NBA game last Sunday at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, when hosts Phoenix Suns beat Denver Nuggets 105-81.

Jagdeep Bains (right) and Sartaj Sandhu watch an NBA game

Jagdeep Bains (right) and Gurvinder Singh Gill watch an NBA game

About the UBA Pro Basketball League

The UBA Pro Basketball League is structured on a league cum knockout basis. The inaugural Pro League was held between 17th to 30th July at the Gachibowli Multipurpose Indoor stadium in Hyderabad that was specially refurbished for this event. There were eight teams in total: Pune Peshwas, Delhi Capitals, Haryana Gold, Punjab Steelers, Chennai Slam, Mumbai Challengers, Bengaluru Beast and Hyderabad Sky.  Chennai Slam won the championship with Pune Peshwas finishing second. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and actors from the Telugu and Hindi film industries were in attendance at various stages of the two week long sportainment gala.

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About Universal Basketball Alliance of India (UBA)

The Universal Basketball Alliance of India, LLC (UBA India) is a next-generation sports branding company. Its main objective is to make sport brands mean something to their sport viewers. To do that, UBA helps brands connect with viewers by providing insight-driven ideas across all media platforms. In addition to the its Pro Basketball League, UBA India has acquired the broadcast, merchandise and sponsorship rights to the existing, and self-governing Indian University Basketball Program.  The UBA is currently securing television broadcasting arrangements, securing corporate sponsorships for tournament play, and creating merchandising opportunities.

UBA will also focus its attention on the AIU and popularizing its All India Inter Zonal Tournament as an entertainment product for Indian viewers to enjoy for generations to come, just as collegiate Basketball is in the United States.

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