Former NBA star sees potentials in India
New Delhi, June 6 (UNI) India may still be at the nascent stage but according to former NBA star Robert Reid, who played along side the likes of Karim Abdul Jabbar and Michael Jordan, basketball has a future in the country provided coaches impart the right basics to their wards.
Reid, who conducted a three-day camp in Jalandhar recently, said, ''I was surprised to see the enthusiasm. During the course of the clinic, I had 70 youngsters at my disposal apart from 40 coaches and I must say the response was positive.'' ''Nothing is impossible these days. Who though-till the other day that Argentina would produce three-four NBA players?'' he added.
Pargat Singh, former hockey Olympian and now Director of Sports with the Punjab Government, said the clinic provided the youngsters a chance to learn the basics from a former player who has competed at the highest level.
''We at Punjab are trying to promote all disciplines and this is not going to be a one-off camp. With a proper budgetary allocation to fuel the projects, we will follow up with more such initiatives,'' he said.
Reid said he had given the youngsters some basic ideas but things should move on from there.
''I taught them the basics of dribbling, passing, shooting. I know the infrastructure is not that good here but once the initial apprehensions disappeared, they were very receptive,'' Reid said.
Asked how would he compete the fitness of the wards with those in the United States, Reid said, ''They are tough guys who can run and play all the day. In America, I've seen guys who play in air-condition environments. Fitness-wise, I find them okay.'' ''I think India should follow the China model and target at reaching the top five in Asian Games or Commonwealth Games. Only then people will take interest in the game and you can dream of reaching greater heights. You have to have better facilities, trainers, sponsors to promote the game and at the same time, players need more nutrition,'' said the cager who is national spokesperson for the NBA to China.
UNI AY DH VV1802