Palpreet Singh Brar

New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Carlos Barroca, senior director of the NBA’s basketball operations in India, has advised upcoming Indian star Palpreet Singh Brar to work on his anticipation in order to do better on the professional stage.

Palpreet, who won the first national basketball talent search programme conducted by the NBA in India, has signed the National Basketball Association (NBA) Development League contract in the US.

The 6’9 power forward’s journey towards the draft began in February, when he won an NBA-officiated talent hunt.

“Palpreet has quickness, what he doesn’t have yet is the quicky instinct, so lets say he is one step slower than the American players right now and its because the American players are in the system of quickness all their lives so they can anticipate quickly and their speed is better. Despite one step behind I believe that the way he is committed to close that gap I am sure he will do it,” Barroca told IANS on the sidelines of the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA programme here.

The programme, since its launch in 2013, has so far involved 2.7 million kids and more than 3,000 physical education instructors. Former NBA champion and four-time NBA All-Star Shawn Marion was also present on the occasion.

Commenting on another Indian origin player, the 7 feet 5 inches tall Sim Bhullar, Barroca said that the 24-year-old needs to work on his fitness as he is slow on the court as compared to others.

Bhullar was the first player of Indian descent to play in an NBA game. He checked in with 16.1 seconds remaining in the Sacramento Kings’ 116-111 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in April last year.

“Bhullar has a very good upper body, he has soft hands so he is a great shooter but he needs to improve his footwork and fitness,” Barroca advised.

“He is slow in going up and down on the court and the game of basketball is not about size so he needs to improve his quickness,” he added.

He also spoke about the current Indian basketball team saying that they have lot of talent and passion.

“They have a lot of talent and have passion for the game which I don’t see in a lot of places in the world,” the Portuguese said.

“They will do better on the international platforms. For big steps, small steps need to happen in the country and we have a great relation with the federation. International Basketball Federation (FIBA) is working hard to give more and more knowledge to coaches in India,” he added.

When asked about the lack of infrastructure restricting players from doing well in the sport he said: “No, its nothing to do with the game. you can have the best facilities in the world but if you don’t have the right coaches, the kids will not learn anything. But if you gave the facility that is not good but you have great teachers and coaches the kids will blossom.”

“I prefer a bad court with great teachers and coaches rather than having a great court with a bad teacher and bad coach,” Barroca, who served as the head coach of the Portuguese Basketball Federation, said.

Barroca explained that age has nothing to do with doing well in the game, and it is not necessary to start playing at a tender age.

“There are different styles of playing the game. In basketball nobody plays man to man, everyone plays with zonal marking. So its a question of time and people here will learn new techniques and improve. I believe they will match the rest of the world,” he concluded.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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