Serbian coach sees great future in Indian basketball

July 7th, 2008 - 4:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) India have a wealth of talented junior basketball players and the country can become a force in Asia if it follows a structured coaching programme like China, feels India’s coach Aleksander Bucan of Serbia. Bucan, coach of the senior national team for the last one year, said Indian players have the potential to become world class players with proper exposure and training.

“Indian players are so talented. They have the creativity for the game and that is very important. I have seen many junior players who, with good training, can develop into better players,” said Bucan.

The recently concluded ‘Basketball Without Borders’ camp saw the junior players earn rich praise from top American basketball NBA stars. The Serbian felt that such camps would help Indian players realise their potential.

“The people who came here were all top level players. Our juniors have learnt a lot from them. And we need to organise more such camps in future,” said Bucan on the sidelines of the clinic that ended here Sunday.

Bucan said China was nowhere in the sport a decade ago till they moved into a structured junior programme - they are reaping the benefits now.

“China pooled in huge money, brought coaches from outside, sent their teams for exposure programmes. India, too, will have to follow such a programme and must have more facilities to come at par with the top Asian countries. If we can do it, I see no reason why we cannot reach that level in 6-7 years.”

Bucan also said that a proposed professional league, comprising players from Asia, will help Indian basketball.

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