Established in 2002, the Ludhiana Basketball Association has earned national glory and has made tremendous contributions to the game till now in a short span of time.
The association has produced as many as 37 international players, who play junior nationals, senior nationals and in the Indian Basketball Team. The association, so far, has hosted 8 senior national championships on its premises.
One of the premium associations in the country also has a hostel with 34 rooms, a mess and 4 dormitories for the players. Currently, 34 players are staying at the academy that regularly practices in the morning and evening under the guidance of professional coaches.
Loveneet Atwal, Palpreet Singh, Satnam Singh, Amritsar Singh and Ranbeer Singh are some of the players who have been playing in the Indian Basketball Team regularly.
Jaipal Singh, a professional basketball coach, who is associated with the academy from last year, said, "Out of 37 players, around 16 have played in the Indian senior team while rest of the players have represented India in the junior categories."
Teja Singh Dhaliwal, president of Ludhiana Basketball Association, who is also the vice-president of Punjab Basketball Association, said, "We had to undergo a lot of troubles initially. Harjinder Singh Dhanwa, an NRI from the UK, expressed deep inclination towards the promotion of the game in Ludhiana. We started the academy with just 30 players and Dhanwa used to contribute Rs 40,000 for the academy every month."
DS Subramanian, who was a coach at National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala and Davinder pal Dhindsa are the two other coaches who come to academy to train the players.
"We have two cemented outdoor courts and a single indoor wooden court, while cemented courts are functional from 1982, we have introduced wooden court to provide our players with the best playing environment,"Dhaliwal said adding that dearth of funds had always been a concern for the academy since its inception.
"In September 2006, we had to discontinue for sometimes and the state government had helped us."
When asked about the the academy's future plans, Dhaliwal said, "We have reached at a certain level but we also believe that we still can improve. In future, we want to work on our fundamentals and adopt scientific approach for training."
"We will look for 6-year-old kids and make an arrangement of small courts, small balls and a low height ring for them. Prior to teaching them the game, we will work on their fitness."
Dhaliwal informed that next in the line was to visit and identify tall, young and talented players who can be groomed.