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INDIA SOON TO BE POWERHOUSE IN BASKETBALL

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, recipient of the #ArjunaAward by Govt. of India for the year 2020, is an Indian professional #basketball player and the current captain of the Indian National Basketball Team made his debut for the India national basketball team in 2009 at the #FIBA Asia Championship. Since then, he has competed at the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship, 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, 2014 FIBA Asia Cup, 2015 FIBA Asia Championship, and 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge. At the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge in Iran, he averaged a career-best 16.9 points per game, to go with 4.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.5 steals in eight games. He has played more than 45 international tournaments. Here is his exclusive interview on the state of Indian basketball with T.I.W.

#1. How do you see the growth of basketball as a major sport in India?

Basketball was first started in India in 1930. The first Indian National Championship for men was conducted in 1934 in New Delhi. The Basketball Federation of India (#BFI) was formed in 1950 to manage and control the dynamics of this sport. Today, basketball in India is played in most of the educational instituted including high schools, colleges, and universities.

Over a period, the proactive policies by the government have helped evolve this sport and many aspirants have taken up this as a career. BFI has been continuously driving this sport in national and international sports events and supporting the promising players to showcase their mettle.

#2. Professional leagues have been the name of the game in many sports including cricket, football, hockey, boxing, etc. How do you envision a professional league in basketball would impact the growth of this sport in India?

Global professional sports leagues have contributed enormously to augment the standard of several sports. For example, professional leagues in football, tennis, cricket, basketball, baseball, track and field events in athletics and boxing are playing a pivotal role in empowering the players to compete with international counterparts, gain knowledge and experience on the strategy & tactics of the game and get exposure to latest sports technologies to improve their skill and performance.

#3. Please brief on the Indian professional basket leagues.

Currently, for #3×3 format, there is a league called #3BL. For #5×5 format, BFI is finalising a professional league. However, due to impact of pandemic, the decision is delayed.

#4. Could you please explain difference between 3×3 and 5×5 formats for our readers?

There is a significant difference between these two formats. For example, 5×5 is a 40-minute game played by two teams of five players each on a full court, while 3×3 is a 10-minute game played by two teams of three players each on half court. The 5×5 format of standard basketball is slower than the intensity of 3×3 action. In 5×5 format, coaches can use timeouts or breaks in the game to instruct players and draw up strategies for the team’s performance. However, in 3×3 format, teams aren’t allowed to have coaches courtside, so they don’t get any expert advice on how to improve their standard.

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