Jorhat, Aug. 29: Cagers and coaches of the Northeast will soon learn to dribble, pass, block, dunk, bank shots and more from the best in the game with two coaches from the National Basketball Association (NBA) of the US scheduled to conduct a training programme in Guwahati in October.
Earlier, baseball organisers in Manipur obtained the services of coaches from the US to train coaches and players, which helped develop the sport in the region.
Basketball Association of Assam secretary Mukut Medhi said the three coaches — Kenny Natt and Zak Penwell of NBA and Zesty Troy from Europe — were scheduled to undertake a five-day package training for coaches, referees and players of basketball in the Northeast after Durga Puja. “Although the training programme was to be held in August, it was postponed as we are concentrating on the under-16 Youth National Basketball Championship to be held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, from October 6 to 13,” Medhi told The Telegraph over the phone from Guwahati. Kenny Natt has nearly two decades of experience as a coach in the NBA and was the head coach of the Indian senior men’s team.
Penwell was appointed the Indian basketball’s team’s strength and conditioning coach, putting the players and coaches in the national team through their paces.
Penwell is famed for his squat exercise, which he calls the “king” of the exercises.
While coaching the team, he stressed on increasing strength and helping the players increase their jumping ability, speed and reducing injuries through a demonstration of squat exercise techniques. Medhi said Kenny Natt and Penwell had been brought to India by the Basketball Federation of India and would be coaching junior coaches in the nuances of the game for a year.
“We have made arrangements with the BFI and they will be here right after the pujas to train nearly 35 to 40 players, referees and coaches of the region at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium at Sarusujai in Guwahati,” he added.
From Jorhat, two coaches — Safikul Hazarika and Anup Sahu — have been shortlisted for the training.
Safikul, who is the Jorhat District Sports Association coach for basketball, said he was excited about the training programme, as he would be able to gain knowledge of drills which the world’s best basketball players used, from these experts. Hazarika himself was appointed coach of the inter-district junior basketball team (boys and girls) of Jorhat who participated in the tournament in Dhubri in April 2012. The boys’ team emerged runners-up.
He was also coach of the sub-junior basketball team (boys) from Assam to take part in the national tournament of that category in Lucknow in which the team reached the semi-finals in September, 2011. The Basketball Federation of India had also appointed him as a referee to conduct the national sub-junior tournament.