"We're committed to Basketball, to the Players & to India"

Attributes: Events, Others

UBA Season 3. Pro-Basketball League. 15-31 July 2016. At Balewadi Stadium.

Free Entry to all matches!

Live Broadcast on Ten1 HD & Ten2. 1:30 PM – 6 PM.

Basketball is the sport of the season! UBA Season 3 has taken basketball in Pune by the storm. The teams are battling it out, coast-to-coast with high tempo on the court. There is much enthusiasm, much gusto and a curiosity to know who will the clinch the title this Season. The teams are performing brilliantly and the talent of the players is on the foray like never before. We had a chat with Michael Yanke, Chief Marketing Officer, UBA. He expressed to us the intention of UBA in India as a Pro-Basketball League. His dedication and passion towards UBA as an important platform for the game of Basketball is immense and commendable. He is truly the man with the strings and the face of UBA in India. Here is an excerpt.

CS: Tell us about what according to you is UBA.

MY: The UBA is India’s only professional basketball league.  Launched in 2015, the UBA is basketball at the highest level in India; helping increase the level of play in Indian basketball while showing viewers across the country the fine talent within its borders.

CS: What is the vision of UBA in India?

MY: Our vision is to develop one of the world’s greatest games and bring Indian stars to light through exceptional quality of play on the basketball court.  Through this exciting game, the UBA will provide fun and quality entertainment for all ages; whether in the stadium or watching live on TV.

CS: How do you wish to expand UBA in the forthcoming seasons/years in India? 

MY: Expanding the UBA comes secondary to expanding basketball.  This isn’t a 2 or 3 year approach; this is years of future development within the game.  We’re not only focused on improving our brand of the UBA; we also know that basketball, in its entirety, needs to reach far more people in India.  We want to improve the sport, not just our league.  By bringing Pro-Basketball to TV, kids will see a place, in India, where they can set their goals of achieving success.  If kids find love for the game, basketball will expand further and at a younger age, developing even more talent in the years to come.  The expansion of the UBA will happen as the youth culture embraces the game, therefore creating a need for more teams.  This expansion becomes a reality for basketball when the youth find a desire to follow a dream of becoming a basketball star by making it to the UBA. 

CS: Compared to the last 2 Seasons, what are your expectations from the current season?

MY: Every season, our management team has the same goals and expectations. To continue to improve from the last season.  This season, we have made some exceptional strides.  With regards to on-the-court performance, our players are better than Season 2.  They’ve been working between seasons to improve their skills. Our US coaches arrived weeks early for intense training camps prior to this season.  We have some new players who elevate the play on the floor; they are faster, jump higher and shoot better than previous seasons.  These players raise the level of play forcing other players to strive for extra effort to compete.  We expect players to answer the call of that challenge.

The integrity of the game has improved.  From the USA, we have imported the best professional basketball floor available and the highest standard of basketball goals from Spalding.  It’s the exact same floor and goals that the NBA uses, only the court dimensions are modified to official FIBA specifications. So you can say that the UBA players are playing on a court exactly like the pros in the NBA.

CS: Tell us about the challenges you face in the current situation and the opportunities you foresee for UBA as a Pro-Basketball League in India.

MY: We have an expectation that we are accustomed to in the USA and we are striving for that same quality and integrity within the game in India.  There’s definitely challenges, but one thing about our team, both in the US and India, is that we overcome obstacles and eliminate challenges through extraordinary effort.  For example, we must improve the technical side of the game.  Before and after every game, we have video sessions with referees and officials.  We review the technicalities of their previous game they worked on and train for areas of improvement.  We show them on TV where they can improve their officiating.  This is direct interaction analyzing their performance like we do with the players.  This isn’t just for the UBA. This is for all of Indian basketball.  Since the UBA is the first league bringing basketball to Live TV, it can be said that teaching referees this way is also a first, since the game hasn’t been captured on film in India to the extent that UBA does.  It’s one example of how basketball is benefiting from what the UBA is bringing to India. 

Finding facilities across the country has also been a challenge.  There are stadiums, but we require a minimum size and power requirements.  Unfortunately, many of the stadiums are not conducive to playing pro-basketball, so we have to continue to work on places and cities who want the UBA to bring our game.  We’re always looking for that city and facility that would be honoured to host a UBA season.

Just because the game ends and the TV cameras turn off each night, doesn’t mean there are not hours of work behind the scenes which people don’t see.  We’re committed to basketball, we’re committed to the players, we’re committed to India.  With that commitment, opportunities become endless for a healthy and vibrant relationship in the future.

CS: How do you envision the future of the game of basketball in India?

MY: With the UBA in India, you will see basketball improve at all levels.  The more players are playing the game, the better their performance will become.  Between training and our 2 seasons per year, basketball players will be involved in the sport for a period of 5-6 months just with the UBA. That’s 5+ months more than they have now.  If you combine 5+ months of high level training and competition in the UBA with the 1-2 months of basketball they were playing before the UBA existed, there are 7+ months the players are on the court.  That’s a huge improvement from where they were prior to the UBA.  This extended playing period will naturally improve the overall quality of all teams, whether in the UBA or within the national playing system. 

Catch all the action at UBA Season 3! Cheer for your favourite team and revel in the Game of the Season with India’s only Pro-Basketball League.

Venue: Shree Shiv Chattrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Balewadi, Pune.

Live Broadcast on Ten1 HD & Ten2. 1:30 PM – 6 PM.

Tags: UBA in India, UBA in Pune, Pro-Basketball League in India, Basketball in India, Sports in India, Professional Sports in India, UBA at Balewadi Stadium

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