BFI launches new basketball league

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  The Basketball Federation of India announced the launch of the Indian National Basketball League (INBL) with the goal of making the sport grow in the country. There has been a growing demand for a league in the last couple of years, but amidst challenges, including the Covid-19, the federation finally laid out their plans on Thursday. 

However, the league is only expected to start after the basketball senior nationals early next year in Indore.  Nine of the best men’s and women’s teams from the nationals will feature in the league.  However, it is to be noted that it is not a professional league with franchises being involved, meaning no foreign players will form a part in it. It will focus solely on the Indian men and women players.

“This (INBL) was my dream for a long time. After all the issues and problems we have come across, now India will be able to see more and more basketball and the sports will become more popular too. I want India to feature in more international ev­ents, but for that our players ne­ed to have more competition and opportunities. Then only we will be able to reach that goal. We also need more infrastructure, which also makes a lot of difference to improve the standard of basketball, or any sports,” said BFI president K Govindaraj.  

The FIBA 3×3 project is already underway with the BFI-INBL 3×3 Bengaluru Open to be played as a pilot project for pan-India city-based 3×3 competitions, which will feature 24 teams each in the men and women categories. The preliminary rounds will tip off on Friday. The finals will be held as part of launch ceremony at Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday. The BFI has provided a five-year licence to Headstart Arena India, a  cultural and sporting activities company to run the league. 

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