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Mangaluru: Indian basketball team inspires kids at Mangala Stadium

Pics: Meryick D'Silva
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (JS)

Mangaluru, Sep 19: Aspiring little basketball players in the city had the experience of their lives when they got an opportunity to interact with the Indian men's basketball team which visited Mangala Stadium here on Friday September 18.

Team India players Amjoyth Singh, Vishesh Raguvanshi, Santnam Singh, Amrit Pal Singh, Siddhanth Shinde, Vinay Kaushik, Rajesh Uppar, Akiel M, Arvind A, Vikas Mor, Akash Hazare, Yadavendra Singh and G S Gill who had come to Nitte University for practice match visited Mangala Stadium in the evening.

Among the players, Arvind A and Rajesh Uppar are from Karnataka.

The players interacted with the children and gave them tips on basketball. They even posed for photos.

The team had been invited by Nitte University and Mangaluru Basketball Club. A coaching camp was held at Nitte campus from August 1 for the team.

Head coach of senior national men's team Sat Prakash Yadav speaking to reporters said, "We came for a practice match at Nitte campus. It is very good court with all the facilities. The accomodation and the food arrangement were also excellent. After the two-month camp, 12 out of 20 players were selected for FIBA Asia Championship.

The team is leaving to China for FIBA Asia Championship from September 23 to October 3. We are confident of doing well. Our players Amrit Pal Singh and Amjyoth Singh are the first Indian players to have played for the Japanese league," he said.

He further said that the team is ranked 11th and is working hard to maintain or improve the rank. In the upcoming championship, the team will play against Malaysia on September 23 and Japan the next day.

The coach said that the team is confident of defeating both Malaysia and Japan, but will have its work cut out against Iran. "We are working hard to defeat Iran, as last time we had a bitter experience against that team," he said.

Asked about the status of basketball in India, he said that a basketball league on the lines of IPL or Pro Kabaddi League would benefit the game in a big way. "Basketball in India needs to be encouraged. It needs coaching as well as money. If there is good investment, then foreign players would also play here, which would boost the game," he said.

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