Todd Mack: ‘Our task is unfinished'

Though the UBA management ran into rough weather with the Basketball Federation of India last season, with several players and coaches being banned for taking part in the third edition (BFI subsequently lifted the ban on the players). The season 4 has been a smooth sailing, says the UBA League's Managing Director. He also believes that Indian players have benefited immensely from the League.

Todd Mack says Indian players will benefit from the UBA Pro men's basketball league.   -  K. Keerthivasan

 

Todd Mack has been in the forefront of popularising the United Basketball Alliance (UBA) Pro men’s basketball league in India since its inception.

Though the UBA management ran into rough weather with the Basketball Federation of India last season, with several players and coaches being banned for taking part in the third edition (BFI subsequently lifted the ban on the players). The season 4 has been a smooth sailing, says the UBA League's Managing Director. He also believes that Indian players have benefited immensely from the League. “Their skill, fitness and their overall basketball knowledge have improved,” he says in a chat with Sportstar.

Excerpts:

This is the fourth edition of the league. How far do you think you have achieved what you have set out to do?

When India qualifies for the Olympics, one of our major goals would have been achieved.

What has been the biggest gain for the league?

From Season 1 to Season 4, we’ve come a long way. We have added more quality players each season. We have had two foreign coaches through the four seasons—John Kimberlin and Jody Basye training the Indians. Their speed and fitness have improved. So has their overall basketball knowledge. Our task is unfinished. In fact, it has just started.

Has the Basketball Federation of India supported the fourth edition given the acrimony that preceded the third season (all the players and coaches who took part were banned)?

We have not inked any agreement with BFI this time. They see that it is only helping the players. We are not into politics. Those things we cannot control. We are here for basketball. Hopefully, it will be a smooth sailing. They (BFI) are seeing that what we are doing is nothing but helping Indian basketball. We haven’t faced any difficulties so far.

How much has the UBA helped in improving Indian standards?

We have got the best equipments here: court and the basketball rim (imported from USA). We have brought International players (for the first time, 10 Americans are playing here).

What’s your take on the decision to host the Championship Series in Goa from March 10 to 16?

It is a good decision. We want to expose the league to different places in India.

How has the reception been in Chennai for the first leg?

It’s great. It’s the best fan support we’ve had.

Any long-term plans?

We would like to continue. Eventually, we want basketball to be the No.1 or No.2 most popular sport in India. We (will) continue to encourage the players.

Your take on the financial model of UBA…

We have invested a lot and gained a lot!