A few weeks ago, Adarsh Premsan Jayakumar made history by becoming the first Indian boy to get a scholarship to play high school basketball in Japan. He has become the fifth Indian national to move to Japan in the last two years.
Adarsh has started his basketball career/training from 17th April 2016 officially at the Fujieda Meisei High School and will be training for 3 years in Tokyo, Japan. We caught up with Adarsh days before he was leaving for Japan to learn more about his inspiring journey.
About Adarsh Premsan
Adarsh had little to no interest in sports and would usually spend his days sitting at home, watching TV until his mother pushed him outdoors to incorporate some physical activity in his life. He started with athletics, developing a keen interest in shotput, long jump and discus throw. By the age of 12, he had already grown to over 6 feet and seeing this, the coach of Rajlakshmi Sports Club, Mr. K Murugeshan, recognized his potential and started teaching him to play basketball from the centre position.
Adarsh played his first nationals at the tender age of 13, representing his state of Tamil Nadu at the sub-junior level. He was subsequently selected for the national camp of the Indian Basketball Team. Last year, Adarsh led his Tamil Nadu side to a gold medal finish at the Youth Nationals held in Gujarat. He attributes his success to his mother and his club coach, Mr. K. Murugeshan.
Being a 6’ 5’’ centre, Adarsh loves working in the post where he possesses an arsenal of fadeaways and one-dribble step back jumpers. He often watches NBA videos before practice to learn some new moves and to get pumped up. His favourite NBA player is Lebron James and his favourite team is the Golden State Warriors.
About the Japan Selection
Adarsh’s skills were first noticed during the 32nd Youth National Basketball Championship in Bhavnagar, and subsequently during the 2015 youth India camp camp held at the famous Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. Footage of Adarsh’s performance was sent to a FIBA agent in Japan and also to the head coach of Fujieda Meisei High School. The Head Coach of Fujieda Meisei High school also happens to be the former Assistant Coach of Tokyo Excellence, the club which Amjyot and Amritpal Singh play for. Being aware of the potential Indian players possess, he decided to select Adarsh.
Adarsh will receive full scholarship including entire high school fees, Japanese education support, college support after graduating from high school, basketball shoes and Nike kit sponsorship. Playing in this high school will help Adarsh to get better on the defensive end through core training and also to develop a high basketball IQ. He is allowed to come back for Indian camps and can play for the Indian team, subject to the approval of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI). His diet and conditioning will be taken care of by professionals and he will become stronger, quicker and a better defender after completing this 3 year programme.
As with Pallavi Sharma and Anmolpreet Kaur, this player movement was also facilitated by Mr Rohit Bakshi, with the scouting assistance of Pursuit, and a Japanese FIBA certified agent. Explaining the significance of these developments, Mr Bakshi had said via an email interview. “With the support of Pursuit and our Japanese FIBA agent, I have been trying to send players to Japan to get professional training, which cannot be achieved in India. Japan has facilities which are as good as USA but the attention and priority tall players can get in Japan is more focused than in USA. I believe this could help Indian players to get focused training and weaker points can be improved.”
“We have been tracking Adarsh since we first saw him at the youth nationals last year in Bhavnagar. After his selection to the youth India team, we knew that he had the right tools to become a star. Hopefully, this stint in Japan will put him on the path to success,” said Pursuit head Mr Vishnu Ravi Shankar.
Pursuit is the newly launched talent management and scouting division of Ekalavyas Consultancy Private Limited. The aim is to find and create the right opportunities for budding athletes with the talent and potential to succeed at the international level. Through its grassroots network, Pursuit is able to spot athletic talent from a young age and help them along their playing careers, whether in India or abroad. Pursuit is headed by Vishnu Ravi Shankar, who is a Director at Ekalavyas, and hopes to become India’s pre-eminent and pioneering basketball scouting and talent management agency.