Come August a bunch of talented basketball prodigies from Bengaluru are set to fly to Orlando, Florida. They will be representing India at the Jr. NBA World Championship. The tech-city girls took part in a tough ride, a three-day league phase and triumphed over favourites Kerala 47-41 in the semifinals. They even sealed a 41-38 comeback win over Chennai in the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA National Finals at the NBA Academy in Greater Noida on Wednesday.
The young women’s basketball players from Bengaluru fought valiantly in a competition with country’s best teams.
“The competition was tough, we were facing some of the best in the country. But the girls were confident. We had a good preparatory camp in the run-up to the tournament,” coach Prasanna Venkatesh told the TOI. “In the league phase, we finished second behind Chennai and therefore faced Kerala in the semifinals. Kerala, with their tall players, were tough but we still beat them in the end by six points,” he added.
While speaking to the TOI, Sunishka Kartik, who is one of the team’s top performers, said, “Seven of us have played together before for Karnataka so we rallied together as a team, fought hard and defended well. It was a victory to cherish forever.” Kartik studies in the Baldwin Girls’ High School in the city.
When asked if they were rewarded with any cash prize for their achievement, Sunishka hailed, “It doesn’t matter. There is no award bigger than representing India.”
Now the Bengaluru girls (a 10-member team) will compete along with international teams from Africa and West Asia, Europe, Mexico, Canada, Asia Pacific, China and South America. This is the first-of-a-kind global youth tournament for U-14 cagers, started from August 7-12. The Delhi Boys team has also been selected for the Championship.
Feature Image Credit: TOI