Top FIBA officials to arrive in Delhi for Basketball Without Borders

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New Delhi, Jun 29 (UNI) With a view to giving a significant boost to basketball in the country, the president and secretary-general of FIBA, Bob Elphinston and Patrick Bauman, and the secretary General of FIBA Asia, Dat'o Yeoh Choo Hock, will arrive here on July 3 to announce a major bouquet for India.

The two top men of FIBA, who have been witness to some of India's great display during the junior and senior ABC meets abroad, will be discussing some tie-ups with the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) during the Basketball Without Borders, a four-day FIBA-NBA joint venture, to be held at the American School here in New Delhi.

The FIBA bosses, who are coming to India for the first time, have sought time to meet some of the top Indian dignitaries, including Sports Minister M S Gill, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi and Secretary-General Randhir Singh.

BFI secretary-general Harish Sharma said the arrival of officials from the world and Asian bodies could change the face of the game in the country as he expects FIBA to pitch in with its might to take the game to a different level.

''Our boys and girls have the potential, but what they lack is the nuances of the making it big. If FIBA helps our cagers in whatever way it can, it would help us grow,'' he said.

Sharma said FIBA was more than keen to help the Indian federation when he broached the subject with both Elphinston and Bauman during a meeting in the US early this year.

''In fact, FIBA is too happy to note that the profile of the game in India has already gone several notches with the Sports Ministry putting the discipline on its priority list. Dr Gill's personal initiative has helped us a lot,'' he added.

Elphinston, 64, only the third Australian ever to lead any international sports body, is credited with the success of the Sydney Olympics.

Bauman, on the other hand, has immense knowledge and experience as a player and as an expert in international sports community. A first-division referee and referee instructor, the Swiss national is a member of the IOC's Coordination Commission for the London Games in 2012.

With some of the BFI's projects being encouraged under the India-UK Inspirational Programmes, Bauman's appointment to the London Games is seen as a positive sign.

''In BFI, we see the visit of these officials as a golden opportunity to create a good base for launching the professional league,'' Sharma said.

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