3×3 Pro Basketball League (3BL), the first FIBA-recognized basketball league in India, provided an unforgettable experience for a group of school students from both Montfort School and Vaels International School by hosting basketball coaching sessions with the 3BL star players. A group of Chennai youngsters was thrilled to see players – Mahesh Padmanabhan from Chennai Icons and Inderbir Singh Gill from Delhi Hoopers at Montfort School, while the students at Vaels got a chance to meet Hyderabad Ballers’ Eban Hyams. The 3BL stars spent their afternoon with young budding basketballers by coaching them tips and tricks of the game. The move was a part of 3BL’s initiatives at developing the sport at grassroots level in India by increasing awareness and knowledge about it amongst audiences.
3×3 Basketball has been recognized as an Olympic sport and will be introduced at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 3BL has taken various initiatives to ensure the sport gains momentum in the country and India stands a chance to come back with a medal in the Olympics.
Speaking about the initiative, Rohit Bakshi, League Commissioner, 3BL, said, “It gives me immense pleasure to have been able to make such a decision. 3×3 Basketball is a growing sport and our focus was to give kids with special needs a chance to learn and adapt to the sport. The kids were happier than one would expect, and such a passionate and emotional response motivates us to conduct more such sessions in the future.”
Mahesh Padmanabhan, Chennai Icons, said, “As professional basketball players, it is our responsibility to support the development of young talent. Seeing their passion and willingness to learn has given us more inspiration. This session was a must, as kids need to know more about the opportunities they have in sports and we were glad to teach them some things they may not have had the opportunity to learn prior.”
Eban Hyams, Hyderabad Ballers, said, “I am grateful to attend a session like this and interacting with the young talent at Vaels International School. Students were quick at grasping the techniques and some of them were already playing quite well for their age. We were very excited throughout the session and we are sure they will prefer staying in touch with the sport in the future.”
Inderbir Singh Gill, Delhi Hoopers, This was a great session for us and the fact that these students were so deeply engaged in the game gives us inspiration. You can see on their face that they were listening to each word and that makes our job easier and much more fun. I look forward to conducting more sessions with 3BL in the future and I am sure these sessions will help and boost the students’ confidence when it comes to the sport and introduce more kids to basketball and the 3×3 format.
The Inaugural Season is being held across six cities and at high engagement venues like malls to increase the visibility of the sport. Coaching clinics are being conducted, with young students, in various cities, with the best players from the league to further build interest in the fast-paced format of basketball. The special needs students from Montfort School in Chennai were given exposure to the world’s leading urban team sport by a Tamil origin player, Mahesh Padmanabhan and FIBA 3×3 USA ranking number six, Inderbir Singh Gill.