Basketball Senior Nationals in Chennai from January 17

The men's and women's teams are brimming with confidence and looking forward to the tournament.

The teams for the 68th edition of this tournament were announced on Saturday.   -  K. V. Srinivasan

The Tamil Nadu Basketball Association will organise and conduct the 68th Senior National Basketball Championship from January 17 to 24 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium and Petite Seminaries Basketball courts. Over 900 players from 34 men and 33 women’s teams are expected to take part in the championship.

The Tamil Nadu men’s and women’s teams will be captained by Akilan and Alagu Tamil Mozhi respectively. The state teams (both men and women) have undergone a 45-day national camp under the watchful eyes of head coach Milan Opacic and assistant coach Aleksandar Virijevic. This is the first time for a national team in the country to be coached by a foreign coach.

The TN team holds the national record of winning five gold medals on the trot from 2000 to 2004, a record that still hasn’t been broken.

The team captain and senior players exuded confidence on a good show in the championship. “This is the first time that we have had a full-fledged camp before the nationals. It has boosted our confidence in a nice way. In the 45-day camp, we have improved a lot as we got adapted to different game styles and game sense. The experience has been good and we hope to go all the way in the championship,” said Akhilan.

Senior player in the women’s team Srividya said, “Our team is very young. We had access to the best of facilities. We also played many practice matches that has boosted our confidence and we are in great shape heading into the championship.”

The matches will be held under lights in the outer courts.

Tamil Nadu teams:  

Women: Alagu Tamil Mozhi, Srividya. V, Pushpa, Sathya, Nishanthi, Dharshini, Srividya. S, Mohana Bala, Shinu, Avanthi, Vandhana, Gayathri, Sheryanka and Deepika.

Men: Justin, Hariram, Prasana Venkatesh, Bala, Mukund Chari, Muin Bek, Harish, Sivabalan, Ragul, , Aravind, Jeeva, Koushick, Rikin, Akilan, Pratham Singh and Ragu Ram.

Participating teams: Andra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Goa, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Gujarat, Mizoram, Chandigarh, Haryana, Odisha, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Puducherry, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Indian Railways, Jharkhand, Sikkim and Services (only men).