"After training so hard in this environment, I can't wait to come back and compete in the league,"- said Narender Grewal of training in the UBA US Pro Performance Camp.
Watch highlights of Narender shooting 3s with his unique one-handed stroke here.
Narender Grewal made his UBA debut with Pune Peshwas in UBA Season 2, averaging 23 points per game in his first season. He raised his game higher in the next season, winning the UBA Season 3 MVP award while averaging a league leading 31.8 points per game. Speaking of UBA helping him to raise his profile, Narender said "I've played for India for a long time, but the level of recognition I got from playing in the UBA and winning the Season 3 MVP award was on another level as people get to see us play live on TV. Back in my hometown (Bamla, Bhiwani, Haryana), they had a ride of honor for me on a tractor. I’m very thankful for the name, fame and recognition I've got here.”
Known as 'India's One-Handed Shooter', Narender made his debut for the Indian team in 2010. He initially had the UBA coaches perplexed with his unique shooting form as he relies on just his shooting hand to let shots fly. His accuracy soon set any doubts at rest, and it didn't take long before he was making it rain from all over the court in the UBA as well.
In UBA Season 4 with the addition of international talent from USA and India in the league, Narender averaged an efficient 17.2 points per game, along with 4.5 rebounds and 3 assists. He was incredibly efficient from the line, shooting 92% to lead the league among players who averaged at least one attempt per game.
Having attended the 2nd UBA US Pro Performance Camp in December, 2016, he is one of the players making a return to the 3rd camp. "After attending the last camp, I could feel that my skills level changed. We worked on dribbling in very deep detail, paid a lot of attention to fundamentals. After working on the game so hard here, when we come back we feel a lot more confident in our game."
UBA Season 4 saw the addition of international talent from the USA and more of Indian national team's top stars. Correspondingly, the increased level of competition only helped the players raise their game. "Playing with such good players from abroad, you can see they have the experience in playing at a high level. When you play against such strong athletes, you have to be extra careful because they can lunge and steal the ball anytime. You have to be extra careful while driving in. Passes can be stolen in a second, and the moment they get a steal they are off the other way in a second. Playing and training with such players, your ball security improves so much you feel that no one can take the ball away from you."
One of the best ways to raise your game is to train and compete with quality players. Narender has seen the benefit of playing with top players from the USA in Season 4 and in the camp thus far. "You learn a lot playing with them. Defensively, you have to be a lot stronger. When you are guarding someone one-on-one, you have to work harder on defence. The competition is very strong, and you have to also get stronger. Here we have players who have played at a high level, if you can stop them you feel a lot surer of your game also."
In the UBA US Pro Performance Camp in Phoenix, the players are training with UBA Director of Coaching Jody Basye, UBA League Assistant Coach Jon Kimberlin and Pro Advantage Systems' owner Keith Wilson at Ability 360 Sports and Fitness Center, Phoenix. Speaking of Coach Wilson, Narender said "Coach Keith Wilson is really sporting. He's very positive and explains things really well, breaks things down nicely. He works with pros and even the youth games that we saw there, the standard is very high. He does not expect us to have the same speed of picking up some concepts as the players over there, he's very understanding and teaches things really well."
The coaches in the UBA have been working closely to help the players get to the next level, and the players are appreciative of their efforts. "Coaches Jody and Jon were present to train us at the recent camp in Bengaluru as well (in the UBA Bengaluru Training Camp). They are the best, always working hard to help us all get better,” said Narender.
The upcoming season will be Narender’s 4th season in the UBA. Having seen the standard of play evolve every season, he’s already chomping at the bit to get rolling. “In Season 5 we will have a lot of high-level players coming in. The competition is going to be very strong. All our games will benefit from playing with such players. If you have sportsmanship and confidence, you can work to achieve anything. I'm really looking forward to playing in UBA Season 5.”
The 3rd Annual UBA US Pro Performance Camp is seeing some of the top UBA players and others from around the world participating in an intense, two-week camp designed to maximize their skills as a basketball player, increase their overall strength as an athlete and learn to train in ways which they can maintain when returning home.
Stay tuned to read more about the top UBA players going to train abroad in the UBA US Pro Performance Camp.