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Basketball Federation of India mulls professional league

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

"Professional league is the next step and we are keen on it. Unless you have a professional league, you can't develop basketball much. But we need to work on it," Basketball Federation of India Chief executive Officer Roopam Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

"We are planning a league but I would not like to divulge any information as yet because it is in the process. We have great plans and we will share it once the decision is firmed up," she added.

The Basketball Federation of India is also trying to promote the game with the NBA, and the sport is witnessing a huge demand, with youngsters catching on to the game.

"There has been tremendous amount of growth. There are pockets in India where there is huge participation and we are seeing growth across all platforms that we have.

We have a long term plan for the sport. There is a huge untapped potential, which is why all of us are investing," NBA India Senior Director Akash Jain said.

He further said that the long term vision of the association is to put the sport in the top slot.

"We have a long term commitment with the federation to make basketball the No 2 sport in the country. We believe we are going to get there though it is not going to happen overnight," he observed.

Asked about introducing an indoor court for basketball, Jain said, "It is very difficult to put a timeline to it. We with BFI and other partners are committed to it. Our vision is to build both outdoor and indoor infrastructure for the sport."

Bombay YMCA General Secretary Jacob Abraham said that the YMCA is in talks with the government for the indoor court and has applied for the same.

"We don't know how long it will take, but we have applied to the government and governor for it. We hope it will come through soon," he said.

An All Star game was organised in the memory of Harish Sharma, former CEO of Basketball Federation of India (BFI).

NBA players Scott Stewart, Jason O

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First Published: Sat, May 05 2012. 21:45 IST