Tamika Raymond: All My People Say Revolution

Tamika Raymond will coach the India National Team in the Asian Games
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Let�s talk about a revolution�

It takes a passionate collaboration of a group of people to manifest CHANGE. Change requires the support of many dedicated people who are committed to the cause. After 28 years, the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) has decided to send national teams to compete in the Asian games. However, India has not been able to qualify for the Asian games since 1982. Nonetheless, the BFI has decided to jump start basketball in India through participation in this year�s Asian Games. Harish Sharma, Secretary General and former player on the men�s national team, has made huge strides to revive Indian basketball on a global level. With the help of his fellow BFIers, Harish has assembled an unstoppable front.

The Tamil Nadu President of BFI, Mr. K.N. Ramajayam, is a successful businessman who loves basketball and has made pivotal moves to improve the game in South India. He has refurbished facilities to run tournaments - given his time and resources - and he has been a wonderful host to the national teams. Ramajayam has founded the Tamil Nadu Basketball Association with Mr. L. Suren, former player of national team/local businessman, to expose basketball to rural areas of South India. Bill Harris and I have enjoyed their hospitality, hands-on approach, and absolute loyalty to encourage the vision of BFI.

The next lines of defense are the people in the trenches day in and day out. My assistant coaches, Mr. Sat Prakash Yadav and Mrs. Prasanna Jayasankar, are extremely passionate and will do whatever it takes to make our team successful. They do all the little things that make a huge difference. Coach Sat is a sports director for the Indian Railways and he has been involved in India basketball since 1981. He played in the 1982 Asian Games, was the head coach for the 22nd FIBA Asia Basketball Championship, and was honored by then President Ronald Reagan with a Sports Ambassador award. Coach Prasanna is senior welfare inspector and the first Indian women basketball player to represent India in five Asian Basketball Confederation Championships. She also received India�s Gandhi National Award in 1990. Our team physician, or physio as they are called in India, is Dr. Kunjal Gada from Mumbai. She graduated from physio school in 2007 and she will complete her sports physio training next year. She has done a tremendous job caring for our team while striving to make an impact on sports medicine in India.

Here ye�Here ye�come support OUR country! India is smitten with basketball from the head of the BFI all the way down to the many youth throughout the country. Local teams have come to play friendly scrimmages to help both the men�s and women�s teams prepare for future games. The media, local and national, have spread the buzz through print and television. Many politicians, sports directors, business people, and former players have all come forward to support the teams. It has been a united effort that continues to build momentum as the Asian Games get closer.

The final roster of players was announced Monday and we are in the final stages of preparation. Opening ceremonies are only days away. China, Thailand, and Korea are all in the women�s pool with Afghanistan participating in the play in game on the men�s side of things. Making history is a long, hard process. BFI, IMG, and the NBA have put forth the best of the best from India and have formed a strong alliance. Together, with all of our supporters from the ground up, we can make history and great change for India. Perhaps we will inspire a basketball revolution!