Franchise leagues have taken India by storm, with various sports competing for the attention of sports enthusiasts. The latest addition to this trend is the Elite Women’s Pro Basketball League (EWPBL), a groundbreaking initiative that aims to provide upcoming basketball players with an opportunity to play alongside some of the biggest names in Indian basketball in a 5×5 format.
In a country where cricket has traditionally dominated the sports landscape, the launch of the EWPBL marks a significant step forward for women’s basketball. The league has a clear mission – to ensure that athletes are fairly compensated for their talent and dedication, enabling them to aspire to more than just collecting participation certificates. Sunny Bhandarkar, the visionary behind the league, believes that by creating a platform for women’s basketball, more young players will be inspired to join the ecosystem and have access to strong role models, similar to what cricket currently offers. This, in turn, will increase the popularity of basketball and establish it as a household sport, cultivating superstars for the next generation to idolize.
To identify the most promising players for the league, nationwide tryouts have been organized at various locations, including Noida, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Kolkata, with the final tryouts concluding on June 24, 2023. The selection process involves top coaches from India evaluating players based on their skills, adaptability to different teams and strategies, and overall performance. The selection committee comprises esteemed retired basketball coaches from the Sports Authority of India (SAI), namely H. Parmeshwar and Jagat Narayan Nehra. The shortlisted athletes will then be drafted into six teams, and they will have the opportunity to sign professional contracts with the EWPBL. The league is confident about attracting top players and coaches from all over India, setting the stage for a highly competitive and exciting basketball extravaganza.
The prospects for the Elite Women’s Pro Basketball League are incredibly promising, and several factors contribute to its potential success. Firstly, the increasing popularity of franchise leagues in India demonstrates the country’s enthusiasm for sports and the willingness of fans to support and engage with professional leagues. Additionally, the focus on fair remuneration for athletes is a significant step towards fostering a professional environment and attracting top talent. By providing professional contracts and creating a platform for women’s basketball, the league is empowering athletes to pursue their dreams and excel in the sport they love.
Furthermore, the presence of renowned coaches on the selection committee adds credibility and expertise to the league’s talent evaluation process. Their guidance and assessment will ensure that only the most deserving and skilled athletes are chosen to compete in the EWPBL, guaranteeing a high level of competition and an exciting showcase of basketball talent.
In conclusion, the Elite Women’s Pro Basketball League is poised for tremendous success. With its focus on fair compensation, professional contracts, and the involvement of top coaches, the league is laying the foundation for a thriving ecosystem for women’s basketball in India. As the sport gains popularity and attracts more fans, the league has the potential to produce iconic players and inspire future generations of basketball enthusiasts. The EWPBL is undoubtedly a game-changer for women’s basketball in India and a significant step towards achieving gender parity in the world of sports.