Kolkata: The National Basketball Association (NBA), which will soon launch its Indian edition, has chosen a 14-year-old-boy from Patna, Robin Banerjee, a Bengali, to train at the academy. It lays foundation of a bright career in a game which involves huge bucks in the US and some other countries. Robin, a student of class 9 in a Varanasi school, went through the two-tier combative selection trial held in Kolkata and Noida and has been included in the list of the 21 players who got the opportunity to train under the NBA. Robin shifted base to Varanasi after being selected by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre based in the city, which also happens to be the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The over six-footer, Robin was delighted after he qualified. He said, “I am extremely happy for making the grade. Now, I’m looking forward to my training stint alongside my studies.” The NBA Academy, India, which is set to be launched at the National Capital Region (NCR) will be NBA’s 5th elite training centre globally and the first of its kind in India. This academy will be fully funded by the NBA, the elite basketball league based in the US. This initiative shall pave the way for young talents to showcase their skills and make themselves a career in a game which does not garner much interest in the country.
Robin got the first coaching in basketball from his uncle and coach Debashish Banerjee. He used to train Robin at the Moin-ul Haq Stadium in Patna. Over the moon, Debashish feels that Robin even has the capability of making it to the most celebrated basketball league in the world. “Robin is a very promising player and I hope one day he will break into NBA League,” he said. Robin has been selected from a list of 45 top prospects who had been tried at six venues in different parts of the country, namely Mumbai, Delhi, Ludhiana, Kochi, Chennai and Kolkata. His uncle confirmed it by saying, “His selection for the NBA Academy is a result of his hard work and dedication.”
(With inputs from Hindustan times)