Exclusive Interview: Hip Hop To Basketball Connect With Delhi’s Dribble Academy

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Hip-Hop and basketball have always had close ties. Desi Hip Hop introduces our readers to one such academy in India that is bridging the gap between International and Indian basketball coaching.

Dribble Academy stands for excellence and their training program is unlike any other in India. The program is led by Pradyut Voleti, a Masters in Clinical Psychology (Amity University); trained by Ganon Baker and Cornell legend Cody Toppert. We got to talking with Dribble Academy to get to know their work better.

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When And How Was Dribble Academy Established? What’s The Vision Behind It?

Dribble Academy was established in 2013 with an aim to provide quality basketball training. The focus is on fundamental skills and to change the way basketball is taught in India. Dribble Academy aims to uplift the grass root level of Basketball in India so that we can eventually nurture talent at the next level. We also aim to bridge the gap in terms of training between other countries and India which currently wide.

What Is The Idea Behind The Gheja Village Project?

In most villages in India there is no facility and training for any sport. Kids roam the streets trying to find something challenging but due to lack of facilities they eventually turn to drugs and violence which is a prominent problem. We think sports as a medium is as important as education if not more. By learning to play in a team, kids also learn discipline, leadership and making sacrifices for each other!

At The Gheja Village Project, all the kids are required to attend English lessons and perform in the classroom. Our after-school program is out of the box. Various motivational documentaries and videos are shown to the kids on a projector received by us from friends and donors. Especially Michael Jordan videos which boosts them like nothing else does! It is holistic learning at its best. The vision is to be able to replicate this same project across multiple villages around India. We want every kid to have an opportunity to play, have fun and enjoy!

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How Has The Journey Been So Far For Dribble Academy? Tell Us About Your Future Plans.

Starting from a makeshift basketball hoop, a broken half court and 5 kids, we have come a long way. Now we have over 150 kids who come to play basketball and learn life skills and have a full size Basketball Court where neighbouring schools come to play with us. Starting from 1 girl now we have over 70 Girls in the project. That whole stigma isn’t there anymore, these girls are going places. So many people have helped us in small ways from donating basketballs to giving us old shoes. It’s an ongoing process and we are bridging the gap.

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What Challenges Have You Faced In A Cricket Driven Country Like India?

Honestly we have faced none. The kids want to play, they want to come and sweat it out. Basketball is an intense and competitive sport and kids love that! If one kid comes to play his entire group decides to come because it is not just a game it is so much more.

Any Message For Our Desi Hip Hop Audience?

Stay True and Stay Real!

Check out videos of Dribble Academy to know more about their efforts in building the basketball scene in India. Connect with them on their social media profile.

Let’s show them some hip hop love and support!