Near-seven-foot tall NBA stars Horace Grant and Peja Stojakovic last week dismissed the notion that short players cannot excel in basketball, and emphasised that what mattered more was passion and willingness to learn.
“It doesn’t matter about your economic background or how tall or short you are. If you are willing to learn and put the hard work in, you can become anything you want to become…” said 6-foot, ten-inch tall Grant here.
“I have played with guys who are 5’3” or 5’5”, so it doesn’t matter about size. It is about having an ideal place to go and work out and it matters about your teachers,” added Grant who won three successive NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls in the early 1990s and another with LA Lakers later.
“I don’t believe in the height factor. It is important to begin with, but the love and will to be the best is important,” said Serb Peja, also a 6’10” giant.
Grant, Peja and another former NBA star Ron Harper were in the city to conduct the three-day city leg of the 3-on-3 NBA Jam in suburban Bandra which was followed by the All India final on Sunday.
Grant, who came through collegiate basketball into the professional ranks, said though China was ahead of India in basketball, the country needed someone like the 7’6” tall Shanghaian Yao Ming, who played in the NBA for Houston Rockets for nine years from 2002, to kickstart a boom.
“The sky is the limit. There are similarities to China when they first got their roots in basketball and they have grown over the years. Things have taken root here and over the years, India too will grow,” he explained when asked about the future of basketball in the country.PTI
If you are willing to learn and put the hard work in, you can become anything you want to become…