The 62nd senior National basketball (men and women) championships will be hosted by the Basketball Federation of India at the Nehru Indoor Stadium here from December 16 to 24.

Speaking to newspersons here on Wednesday, Prem Pal Singh, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, BFI, said that the National Federation hosting the Nationals is not something new but has been in practice for the last two years as a part of the agreement with IMG-Reliance to bring in more professionalism and fiscal discipline.

The host Association will provide referees, officials and co-ordinate with the BFI for the smooth functioning of the event. BFI has even sought the services of a few former players.

In all 25 State teams will take part in the championships. It will be a “busy schedule”, said G.M. Sampath Kumar, Chairman, Technical Commission. “We have around 126 matches in total and are confident of holding it successfully.”

The top 10 teams in men and women from the last National championships have been placed in Pool ‘A' and ‘B' (Level I) while Pool ‘C' to ‘F' (Level II) will comprise the rest.

The top four from Group ‘A' and ‘B' will reach the knock-out stage.

The top two teams from ‘C' to ‘F' will join the other eight teams in the pre-quarterfinals.

The winner will take home Rs.150,000 while the runner-up will receive Rs.75,000. Railways is the defending champion in the men's and women's sections.

Chennai last hosted a Senior Nationals tournament in 1973.

During the championships, a clinic will be conducted by NBA coaches Kenny Natty, Peter James Gaudat and physical conditioning trainer Zak Penwell.