Kolkata: If you thought, Indians were not efficient in basketball, then it was time to give it a rethought. Here’s the scoop: For the first time ever, one Indian boy and a girl, Aashay Verma and Priyanka Prabhakara will be part of a global group of 67 players chosen from 32 countries for the third NBA and FIBA Basketball without Borders (BWB) Global Camp to be held at New Orleans in USA, reports nba.com. The camp will take place between February 17 and 19 at the New Orleans Pelicans’ practice facility as part of NBA All-Star 2017. Verma was also part of the camp held last year in Melbourne along with Baladhaneshwar Poiyamozhi and Sahil from India.
According to Brooks Meek, NBA Vice President, International Basketball Operations and Head of Elite Basketball, “The Basketball without Borders Global Camp is a great opportunity for the top male and female prospects from around the world to compete against one another, learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches, and experience the excitement of NBA All-Star. The Basketball without Borders programme was founded on the belief that basketball brings young players from different backgrounds together and transcends cultural boundaries.”
Initially, the programme was meant to be a summer camp for players aged between 12 and 14. The first few editions were aimed at promoting bonhomie and understanding through sport and brought together youths from the former Yugoslavia in 2001, Greece and Turkey in 2002 with full backing from the United Nations. Basketball became the focus from 2003, when the camp was held in Africa and the age limit was increased to 17. Over the years, the camps have been held in Americas in 2004 and Asia in 2005, including youth from all around the globe. Currently, the age limit is 19 and younger.
A talent hunting occasion, many basketball superstars have been involved in the camps to spot talents. Since the first edition in Treviso, Italy, more than 2000 participants have been part of the camps in 20 countries all over the world.
Verma aged 17, is over 7 feet tall and is from Hyderabad while Prabhakara who has a height of 5 feet, 10 inches is from Kerala. One boy and one girl will be named BWB Global Camp MVPs after the three-day camp. The participants will get exposure in the forms of the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, State Farm NBA All-Star Saturday Night, and the 66th NBA All-Star Game at Smoothie King Centre during the course of the camp.