Goal6 mins 295 6 mins 295
(THE STORY OF A SPORTS ASPIRANT)
“Everyone have their own dreams in their life. However, it’s a very few one who had achieved their dreams, through their hard work” said the college dean to his students in IIT college, Madras, which had been watched by a guy(in black suits with an army cut hair-style, sports look, with a strong look, having a thick blue eyes) in his house.
“Hey Jaisurya. What are you doing by watching the TV? You have a lots to do today, for the upcoming sports match. Have you forgot?” asked a man(almost a 50 old man), wearing dhoti, blue colored shirts, with a thick sunglasses. He is Jaisurya’s father, Surendar.
“Yes dad. I am ready to proceed. Where is my mother?” asked Jaisurya.
“She have gone to temple with your siblings, Sarabjot and Beant” said Surendar.
“Ok dad. It’s already time for me to proceed for my coaching centre. Let me proceed. Take care. Love you. Bye” said Jaisurya.
“Bye son. All the best” said Surendar.
While heading to his coaching centre, Jai sees a small boy playing the basketball vigorously despite becoming so wet, due to the sweats. At this time, he recalls the challenges, that he faced in his childhood, when he dreamed to become a basketball player and he recalls his childhood life.
When he was born on January 4, 1998 to his father near to Ambasamudram, Tirunelveli, he had only 3 lakhs, of which he spent 2 Lakhs for the hospital expenses. Despite being a basketball player, Surendar and Jaisurya’s paternal grandfather were unable to play Basketball, citing to some conflicts with their family. Henceforth, they continued to do wheat farming business activity by residing in Ambasamudram.
Since, Jaisurya stood 5 feet 9 inches(1.75 m) taller than most of the adults in the village, his father helped him to basketball(when he heard about his dreams of playing basketball) by mounting a hoop in a dirt courtyard, near his house. By local spectator, Jai was nicknamed “Bailwan”, meaning “strong man with strong arms.”(because his rapid physical growth made the basketball seem to shrink in his hands over time.)
In 2007, Jaisurya participated in Youth league sports event, near Papanasam. The great success, which he enjoyed in the sports event helped him a lot to get enrolled at National Basketball academy in Nanguneri with the help of his father’s friend Rathnavel Pillai. At the academy, Jaisurya first learned many basketball skills and drills. At age 12(in 2010), Jai stood 6 feet 11 inches, weighed 230 pounds and wore size-18 shoes. As he was further exposed to professional basketball, including the NBA, he began idolizing inspirations from several basketball players.
In the same year 2010, Jai had been selected by the basketball association to represent the national level sports competition, that is held in Chennai. Henceforth, Jai shifts his place to Adayar, with his father. While Jai was residing in Chennai, he faced a lots of hardships, challenges and difficulties.
Since, he doesn’t have much exposure to the city life and lack of fluency in English, Jai faced mocking and ragging from his Academy friends. Besides such challenges, Jai manages to cope up and got trained vigorously. Now, he had been chosen to play at an NBA Basketball Without Borders camp in Singapore.
The BFI’s head coach, Harish Reddy, had him play against members of the Indian national team, to which Jai got shocked. Initially, he struggled while playing the match. However, he remembers the words that had been told by the IIT chairman(which he had heard in a news): “Achievement is not an easier one. For achieving a success, we have to face a lots of struggles, challenges and tests, that comes across your life.”(a most notable words, which he heard from the chairman).
Inspired and motivated after remembering the words, Jai competes with them rigorously and he eventually attains the victory. Impressed with the result, Reddy recommended his chief Ram Singh Patel for IMGR(which was brought to support the sportsmen with scholarships in 2010) to consider him for a scholarship.
However, Patel refuses and asks him, “No Reddy. That’s impossible. This guy is too young. How is it possible to consider him for a scholarship?”
Reddy said, “This boy, you will want to see. I’ve told people many times, he can become India’s Yao Ming.”
George Williams, who directed basketball operations for the NBA in India, also visited Chennai and discovered Jai at the NBA Mahindra Challenge.
After meeting Patel, he said, “First time I saw him play, he was wearing shoes that were falling apart. The seams had split, and he was coming right out of them. That’s all he had. He was growing so fast. We helped him get shoes. I’ve heard people talk, but we’re not sure they know how big he’ll get.”
William had confidence in him, however saying, “He can be the chosen one for basketball in India.”
Nevertheless, Jai was later awarded a scholarship under the IMGR basketball training academy and shifted to Bradenton, Florida in September 2010. Despite lacking the fluency in American English at the time, he was one of 29 student athletes- male and female combined-to be selected to train at IMG Academy.
Jai played for the Indian National team at the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship in Wuhan, China, where he averaged 2.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. At the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, he received more playing game, averaging 4.2 points and 2.7 rebounds for India.
During the 2014-15 season, he averaged 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in less than 20 minutes per game for IMG, the No.2 ranked team in country. However, due to his poor American English fluency and lack of citizenship, he was ineligible for the NCAA(National Collegiate Athletic Association). However, he returned to his national team for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon. Eventually, he lost and later, returned India.
While living in Chennai, Jai encountered various children and youngsters, dreaming to become a basketball player. Henceforth, he made a plan to train them in the field of basketball by starting a coaching centre, with the help of his money, which was earned several sports competitions.
After getting the acceptance from his father, mother and paternal grandfather, Jai started his academy in 2018 and began to give training for the children and youngsters.
Presently, Jaisurya goes towards the boy and asks him, “What is your name, boy?”
“My name is Rohit, sir. Who are you sir?” said the boy.
“Wow. Nice name. Myself, I am Jaisurya. Former basketball player and now, a coach” said Jaisurya.
“Is Basketball your favorite, sir?” asked Rohit to which he replies, “Yes. It’s among my favorite one.”
“I saw, you was playing vigorously. You love to become big?” asked Jai to which Rohit said, “Yes sir. I love to become a basketball player. But, I can’t.”
“Why? Any oppositions from your family? Come. I will speak with them” said Jai to which, the boy tells, “No sir. I am an orphan. I grew in an orphanage. Since, no one allowed me to pursue Basketball in the trust, I ran away and playing, whenever I find time.”
Jai convinces Rohit to join his coaching class and get trained with his guidance. He further promises him to take care and adopts him telling him, “Whatever may happen in your life. Challenges, Hurdles and Obstacles. But, you have to face them all bravely and achieve your dreams. That’s your target as well as your goal. Don’t forget that.”
The duo proceeds.
[This story was inspired from the real life basketball player Satnam Singh and several other players in various countries despite India. Dedicated to all those players, who became big by achieving their dreams(facing a lots of hurdles and obstacles)].