Tuesday, Dec 12, 2017 | Last Update : 03:46 PM IST

Mumbai has too few tourneys: Former India captain Jagdeep

THE ASIAN AGE. | KABEER KHAN
Published : Dec 3, 2017, 1:07 am IST
Updated : Dec 3, 2017, 7:27 am IST

The 31-year-old suffered a slipped disc with other injuries in his back in 2012 that forced him out of the game for a period of three years.

Jagdeep Singh Bains
 Jagdeep Singh Bains

Over the years, sports have evolved all over the world with a major impetus is on fitness. However, the-re are some injuries that are unavoidable. David Beckham str-uggled throughout his career after tearing his Achilles tendon while playing for Italian club AC Milan in 2010.

Indian basketball player and former captain Jagdeep Singh Bains, who plays for city-based team Mumbai Challengers in the UBA Pro Basketball League, as a similar story. He will head to Phoenix, USA for a performance camp that starts from December 4 along with 11 Indian players to enhance his fitness. He returned to the Indian squad and featured against Lebanon for the FIBA World Cup qualifiers where the team lost 107-72.

 The 31-year-old suffered a slipped disc with other injuries in his back in 2012 that forced him out of the game for a period of three years. Bed-bound, leave aside playing basketball, he could not walk or sit properly without feeling shooting pain running through his spine. His recovery has been a heroic tale for aspiring sportsmen. “My family’s support has been instrumental in my return and I am glad that I can return to the sport that I love. If not by playing, I would return as a coach but not leave basketball,” said Jagdeep.

Jagdeep Singh’s career as a player was in jeopardy until last year when he was approached to play for the UBA league. Desperate to return to the courts, he said yes without thinking twice. “They asked me if I wanted to play or coach. Of course, I wanted to play, I wanted to return to the courts more than anything,” said Jagdeep, who led the Mum-bai outfit to the title.

He has a typical basketballer’s physique, towering with a height of 6 feet and 6 inches. Jagdeep is aware of his age and fitness playing a role in his performance. “I am 31 now. My fitness is still 50-60 per cent. This camp can help me regain fitness. My reactions have slowed down and so has my speed. I could continue for another two to three years and then move ahead into coaching,” he said.

Born in Rajasthan, Jagdeep has spent most of his life in Ludhiana. He has adopted the Mumbai culture well but still feels that the city needs more tournaments. 

“The reason why North India dominates the Indian squad is because there are at least 10-12 local tournaments every year. Over here, I have not seen more than 2-3 tournaments in a year,” said Jagdeep.

With the 2018 Commonwealth Games approaching, the national team is aligning to find the best starting five. With important players Satnam Singh and Amjyot Singh playing in the NBA league and Amritpal Singh playing for Sydney Kings in NBL League, Australia, Jagdeep says the team has become frail. “These lads can definitely help the team go ahead in the Commonwealth Games. While they play in the foreign leagues, the team becomes weak,” he said.

With the next season of the league approaching, Jagdeep will aim to repeat his heroics again to help the Mumbai Challengers win another title.

Tags: jagdeep singh bains, fiba world cup