Rahul Brahmbhatt is contributing writer to Think Sport.
The U.S Department of State has grants to use sport on an international cultural exchange program. Robert Baker and Craig Esherick, two faculty members from George Mason University in partnership with JDBasketball, a basketball school seeks to “… take the best practices of basketball leadership in the U.S. to India.”
While traveling in India, [they] will identify 10 sports leaders to travel to the United States in summer 2010 to attend a coaching academy at Mason.
During their time in Virginia, Indian coaches and administrators will receive instruction in sport management, participate in extensive interactive exchange with American sport officials and undertake an opportunity for coaching certification. They will stay in campus housing, learn from Mason faculty and take trips to various sporting facilities in the area.
Basketball is a growing sport, not only in India, but globally. While 10 to 15 years ago, it was one of many sports, it is not arguably the world’s 2nd most recognizable sport. The numbers of people playing basketball these days are growing rapidly, and that includes in India. With the growing number of courts popping up in cities across India, the game is now accessible to more people than ever. Here in Ahmedabad, each college seems to have a court and most of the time, they are use. Recently, there was a statewide tournament at Navrang Sports Academy where teams from all over came to compete and the facilities and quality of play were both at a fairly high level. The trajectory that basketball has taken globally in the last 15 years (almost exponential…after some time to build up steam) is the same thing that I see for basketball’s story in India. Once the proper infrastructure is set up (more courts open for public play), awareness of the game increases (more tv and movies with basketball in them), and multiple levels of competitions appear (recreational, school, semi-pro, and potentially, pro)…the game should enjoy a very healthy future in India.