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"Basketball" is the sport really ready to take off in India?

 With Giannis antetokoumpo a Greek national born in Nigeria winning the 2021 NBA title, the question has to be asked "With basketball becoming more international than ever, can the game find solid footing in India?". 

The answer unfortunately is not a simple yes or no, no matter how much we want it to be. The truth is in the last two decades basketball has become quite popular in the urban communities across India. Every park, school, college, society has a hoop kids can play in. NBA icons like Michael Jordan, Lebron James and late Kobe Bryant motivate and inspire kids as much as any other sportsperson. 

And yet the sport's popularity remains in the shadows. It has little representation in the popular culture, movies, it doesn't even have a league like IFC for football. Now part of it is because cricket rules supreme in India (but surely a nation of a billion people can have more than one sport) and the other is because the groundwork for the sport never existed in the country. 

BFI the governing body of basketball clearly didn't have a lot of success in nurturing the talent that existed in the country. The Indian national team never had a great record in the international tournaments not to sat they've never had any. But the trend seems to be taking a turn for the better. NBA association has opened schools for developing talent from a young age, BFI in controlled collaboration seems to only benefit from it. 

It is only a matter of time when the prodigies of India take their place in the international tournaments and the country is exposed to the beauty of the game. Basketball aficionados of the country are hungry for a rise in the sport and they might just get their wish. Who know maybe we'll have one of our won lifting the NBA trophy one day!       

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