‘No future for basketball in India, go abroad’: Message of these two cagers to budding players
The two players feel that the game has no scope in India and aspiring players should move out of the country if they want to make a name in basketball.Updated: Sep 11, 2017 23:08 IST
Despite having brought laurels to the country at several international basketball events, Indian cagers Satnam Singh Bhamara and Talwinderjit Singh Sahi, say that they are still begging the state and central governments for jobs.
The two players feel that the game has no scope in India and aspiring players should move out of the country if they want to make a name in basketball.
Satnam Singh Bhamara, 22, who became the first Indian to be drafted in NBA (United States) in 2015, says, the Indian government helps players of only some sports. “After I was selected for the NBA league, I was given an amount of Rs 11,000 by former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. The central government did not give me anything. ”
Talwinderjit Singh Sahi, 33, who has been playing for India for the past 13 years says, “I have been playing since the age of 10. I have given more than 20 years of my life to basketball. But I have got nothing in return.” “In the past eight years, I have met Badal at least 20 times at his residence to request him for a job but to no avail,” says Sahi.
Sahi has bagged several honours, including the Maharaja Ranjit Singh award by former CM Prakash Singh Badal in 2013. Apart from this, Sahi has also bagged the title of best player of India, top scorer, best slam dunker and best stealer in Asia in many championships.
The 33-year-old cager says that they are often invited by schools to speak to their students and motivate them. “But how can we motivate young players towards a game, which we know has no future in India? So I tell students to study hard, go abroad and fulfil their dreams,” says Sahi.
Both the players say that the Badal government has not supported them. “We asked for jobs many times but they did not pay any heed. Now, we have pinned our hopes on the Captian Amrinder Singh government. We hope they will promote sports by encouraging players by providing them jobs rather than wasting money on infrastructure which later lies unused,” they said.
Ignoring senior players led to India’s failure in FIBA Asia cup
The two cagers said that the dismissal of senior players such as Jagdeep Singh Bains from playing was the main reason for India’s poor performance in FIBA Asia. “The young players lacked experience. At the international-level, one requires proper rest during the matches which was lacking as the extras sitting on the bench do not own the skills of same level. So they were being replaced for a short period of time during the match which affected the team’s performance.”
Sahi adds, “In other teams, the playing five and five players sitting on bench are of equal level. We played our best. We were leading against Jordan in first half but with time the match slipped away from our hand and reason behind the loss was partial selection of team by the Federation.”
First Published: Sep 11, 2017 22:59 IST