At least 70 Chennai Corporation Schools are expected to emerge as hubs of training in basketball

Students of Chennai Corporation schools will have access to NBA-quality training in the coming months, officials said, on the sidelines of American basketball star Isaiah Thomas’ interaction with students on Wednesday.

At least 70 Chennai Corporation Schools are expected to emerge as hubs of training in basketball.

Inaugurating basketball coaching sessions at Chennai Corporation Schools, the Sacramento Kings point guard called for more resources for developing basketball infrastructure in India to facilitate access to the game.

“With the Reliance foundation and Junior NBA starting their programmes it will get better here [India]. The more the kids watch people play, they would want to take part too,” he added.

To students, his message was simple: “Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Don’t let anybody ever tell you that you can’t be what you want to be. The road to success is not going to be easy. Keep working hard.”

“A cutting-edge basketball curriculum is coming to Chennai. The Junior NBA programme will target a few thousand kids in the city this year,” said an official at the launch, which was hosted by a Chennai Corporation School in Saidapet.

A search for the next big basketball talent among school children will begin in a few months, after the commencement of the programme.

The programme will provide students the opportunity to learn basketball skills, focussing on dribbling, shooting mechanics, defensive movements and an understanding of geometry in organised basketball.

“Chennai Corporation has taken the first step to motivate students to achieve repute in the world of sports. Students in Chennai should work hard to achieve excellence at the world level and visit other countries to motivate others,” said an official of Chennai Corporation.

“Isaiah Thomas spoke about his efforts in overcoming his disadvantage in terms of height to excel in basketball. His words motivated me. Many of us are confident of achieving in sports now,” said S. Rajasekar, a Chennai Corporation student.

Chennai Corporation has already constructed modern sports facilities to motivate students.

More sports facilities for football, volleyball and cricket will be commissioned in Chennai Corporation Schools this year.

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