Reminder: Keep Hustling

‘Good. Better. Best. Never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is the best’, this is what I thought whenever I was on the field. Like any other Indian child, Sachin was my idol and cricket was the only thing I used to play in my free time. 

Gradually, my interest was shifting from studies to all kinds of sports. When I was preparing for my 9th grade exams, my coach randomly picked me up and asked me to play for the school basketball team as I was a good athlete and also because of my height. Before that, I was unaware about a single rule in the sport. However, I decided to try it out and from this positive mindset I entered the court where my journey started. 

The first stupid thing I did was, I entered the court and started to shoot the ball in the ring. By observing this, my coach asked me to build more discipline by doing pre-warm ups and drills, which I never knew when I was playing any sport for fun. Later I realised that to make a serious career in sports, everything is to be done with perfection. “Perfection is not attainable, however if you chase perfection you will catch excellence”. Thereafter, I started working hard and played 13 state level competitions and 3 national competitions. It looks quite good and easy but the rejections and obstacles were tough for me to digest. I never gave up and just focused on the basics of the game by practising more with dedication. 

My parents always told me that there is no career in basketball in India and to some extent they were right. Later, I saw on my Instagram feed that NBA’s pre-season game is going to be played between Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers at NSCI dome, Mumbai. NBA (National Basketball Association) is a men’s professional basketball league in North America. For most of this time, the NBA and its biggest stars felt like aliens to me. They were from a different world, a different time-zone, stars in the sky so dominant

and charismatic that they felt almost unreal, as if they were fictional characters living in a world that I could never access. They might as well have been the Avengers. Some definitely had superpowers. 

Seeing them playing live in the court was a dream come true. NBA India has raised awareness about the sport among Indians. NBA in partnership with Reliance has started many Jr. NBA camps all over the country. According to me, NBA coming to India and starting their camps is a great move as the Indian players are getting more exposure by experienced coaching staff. Basketball taught me many things-  the inevitability of failure, the value of teamwork, hard work, patience, and most importantly, never giving up. In the end, all I have to say is..


-Heet Bapna

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