For the first time in the history of Nagpur basketball two city girls have been selected to represent India in the NBA World Championship. The 13-year-old Nagpur stars Shomira Bidaye and Dhara Phate have been included in the 10-member Jr NBA India Girls’ team which will participate in the NBA Global Championship scheduled to be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, from Aug 6-11.
Representatives of the NBA arrived in the city on Friday and surprised both the city girls about their inclusion in the Indian team.
Both Shomira and Dhara were members of the West Region team in the NBA India National Championship and helped their team to win the national championship title at Nodia recently. Following which both were included in the Indian Team selection camp.
A satisfactory performance during the camp gave both Shomira and Dhara a berth in the Indian team. In the boys section, Taaran Kakkad was also in the camp but he missed the Indian berth.
Shomira is a student of Centre Point School, Katol Road and practices at the Shivaji Nagar Gymkhana (SNG), while Dhara is a student of BVM Trimurti Nagar and plays at the Dharampeth Krida Mandal (DKM).
Both Shomira and Dhara were members of the title winning West Region team and played crucial role in the title winning effort. Shomira is being trained by Shatrughna Gokhale and Vinay Chikate at SNG and Dhara practices at DKM under Dhiraj Kadao and Amit Sampat.
The Jr. NBA Global Championship India Selection Camp was held from April 29-30 at The NBA Academy India in Noida. The camp featured 40 participants from the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA Skills Challenges, City Competitions and National Finals, and the focus on positional skill development and five-on-five competition.
Based on the performance of players during the camp 10 boys and 10 girls were chosen to represent India at the second annual Jr. NBA Global Championship.
The Jr. NBA Global Championship will feature boys and girls divisions, separated into U.S. and international brackets that begin with round-robin play and continue with single-elimination competition.
The winners of the U.S. and international brackets will play in the global championship games too on Aug. 11. President of the Nagpur District Basketball Association (NDBA) Sandip Joshi, Secretary Bhavesh Kuchanwar and all members of the district association congratulated both Shomira and Dhara and wished them luck for the World Championship.
Secretary of the NDBA Bhavesh Kuchanwar said, “This is a very big opportunity for both our young girls and a very proud moment for NDBA. We all wish them luck for their first international championship. At Orlando both Shomira and Dhara will get the much required exposure from the international and experienced NBA coaches and playing against the best players in the world will only help both of them to grow as a better player. The NBA global championship will be a big morale booster for both these young players of Nagpur.”