1st Summer Basketball Coaching Camp underway in Kohima
Morung Express News
Kohima | July 11
Next to football, basketball is a favourite sport among young Nagas with emerging players participating in regional levels, yet Nagaland rarely has professional coaches or infrastructures.
In view of these deficiencies, the 1st Summer Basketball Coaching camp organsied by Suncity Kohima in collaboration with Professional Basketball & Football (PB&F) is currently underway in Kohima.
Since July 4, 63 young boys and girls under 18 are receiving the coaching at Christ King Higher Secondary School, Kohima from Prasanna Jayasankar, a National Basketball Coach and former International Women basketball player. She was also the first Indian women basketball player to represent India in the Asian Basketball Confederation Championships. The camp will conclude on July 15.
The coaching camp has been organised to promote games and sports in Nagaland in the grassroots and provide more opportunities to the young players who has a long future ahead, said Zhatuo Rutsa, Technical Director, Nagaland Basketball Association, during a press conference held on July 11 at Christ King Higher Secondary School, Kohima.
“Naga players have a lot of potential and we need to mould that potential. If you give better opportunities for them, they can do better,” said Jayasankar who has been coaching young players in the North East in recent years.
“If given the right training and advanced coaching,” Jayasankar said, “Naga players can be champion players in the national level within three years time.”
“Stating that the North East especially Nagaland needs to start and develop more grassroots program, Jayasankar suggested that the Government ‘should spend time and money on sports, must give grants and funds for infrastructure development.”
With limited career options where young Nagas cannot think beyond academics, sport is a viable career option which needs to be encouraged.
To this end, the Suncity Kohima expressed the hope that in future the educational institutions in Nagaland will also include Sports as an essential curriculum.
For Jayasankar, Sports not only enable healthy citizens but also helps in moulding the character of the young.
“The best way to develop conscientious citizens is through sports. And the best way to develop sports is through educational institutions. A simple government policy can develop and change sports,” she said further suggesting that the Nagaland government should make policies for development of sports and competitive players and invests in the grassroots.
One of the inadequacies among Naga players, according to Jayasankar, is the lack of proper guidance, advanced techniques, and exposure.
“Exposure is also very important. When they go out and witness matches and players in other states, it will automatically improve their skills. Another major problem with the players in Nagaland is that the players do not have the basic fundamentals,” she stated.
For the Basketball sports to progress, Zhatuo Rutsa asserted that Nagaland need grassroots equipments, infrastructures and good coaches.
The Suncity Kohima also informed that 30 players will be selected for coaching in Chennai in December.