Fisher: ‘Indian cagers must have the hunger to succeed’

“Almost all the Indian team players participated in season four, giving it a huge boost, they bonded well with the 10 Americans spread out evenly among the teams.”, the United Basketball Alliance Chairman Tommy Fisher said.

Looking back on the season just past, Fisher said it had been a period of development for the game.   -  Joseph Antony

“We wish to make the United Basketball Alliance (UBA) a top career option for sportspersons in India, throw it open to the best talent available in the country so that they can compete with the best in the business,” Tommy Fisher told Sportstar on the sidelines of the All Star final at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee indoor stadium in Panjim recently.

The UBA Chairman’s enthusiasm was infectious, spilling over perhaps into the field of play. Sneaking onto the court where the no-holds-barred shoot-fest final was in progress, the pony-tailed tycoon made a few shies himself at the basket. So was he animated afterwards in conversation, his zeal for the league there for all to see.

“Almost all the Indian team players participated in season four, giving it a huge boost,” Fisher said. “They bonded well with the 10 Americans spread out evenly among the teams. The training Indian players had in the US benefitted them much and was put to good use here,” he said.

With the imported players scoring more, were the Indian players lagging behind ? “Not really. Vishesh Bhriguvanshi logged 57 points in a game,” he noted.

How has the UBA Pro League progressed from season three ? “There is a sizeable growth. The game has become faster and harder. Fitness has improved dramatically,” the construction magnate replied.

Was the Indian game slanted in favour of the taller players from the north ? “The short and swift players have done well too. The super quick, athletic type of players who begin ball handling early and practise long hours have also proved effective. Some of the Indian shooters were exceptional,” said the Phoenix, Arizona native.

Detailing plans for season five slated for September, he said it would be held mostly in the northern part of the country, since earlier editions had been staged in other regions. “We are looking at Chandigarh and the finals should be in Delhi. We are playing to hike the number of foreign players in the league to 16,” Fisher said.

Looking back on the season just past, he said it had been a period of development for the game. “Ultimately, even when alone, Indian cagers must have the hunger to succeed,” Fisher concluded.