New York, May 15 (IANS) For now, the Sacramento Kings are among the first teams to resume practice after the coronavirus-induced hiatus and are eager to take over from where they left
Assistant coach Roy Rana is optimistic of making it to the playoffs. "We finally found some consistency, which is what we wanted to find early on and it took us some time but I think coach (Luke) Walton has done an incredible job of leading us and getting us to this place where we now are in a legitimate Playoffs hunt," said Rana following a Facebook Live session for Indian fans where he spoke about his journey to the NBA and shared valuable coaching tips.
Talking about his experience during the NBA India Games 2019, Rana recalled: "The first game that we played, having all those school children in the arena, I think is a legacy moment. It will help build a lot of young fans, young dreamers. Hopefully, some kids came out of that arena and went home and rolled up their socks and played ball."
Known for his work with youth teams, Rana famously led the Canadian U19 men's basketball team to a gold medal at the 2017 FIBA World Cup.
He was head coach of Ryerson University from 2009-2019 and transformed the men's basketball team into a successful program.
The 51-year old feels the best way to grow the sport in India is through early talent identification and coaching development.
"Giving kids more exposure to the sport at a younger age would be helpful. I think for the sport to thrive there needs to be a coordinated designed effort and alignment in teaching the game across the country," he said.
Much like Rana's belief, the NBA's developmental initiatives in India include Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program and ACG-NBA Jump program.
When asked if cricket was ever discussed while growing up in an Indian family, Rana quickly admitted it wasn't and he never really understood the sport. "I think the difficulty was probably when I was growing up, cricket had three-day or five-day games, it was a huge commitment. In North America, we want something in three hours," said Rana, who expressed his interest to watch the shortest version of the sport when he visits India next.