Originally published on 14 Dec, 2018 on www.ubaindia.com
"The shape I was in before I attended the camp, will be totally different from how I'm gonna feel after the camp," said Prudhvi Reddy of attending the UBA US Pro Performance Camp. "You have to be mentally strong to play at UBA pace. To be able to score and defend at a high level for 40 minutes, training camps like this one really help a lot."
Prudhvi, along with 11 other UBA players from India and more from all over the world 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. Prudhvi made his UBA debut in Season 2 with the Mumbai Challengers, and the 6-foot tall point guard has grown with each season, rapidly gaining experience and raising his game.
In UBA Season 4, Prudhvi and Mumbai Challengers reached the promised land and lifted the UBA Championship Trophy for the first time as they lost only one game throughout the regular season and playoffs. For Prudhvi, lifting the trophy was further validation of the self-belief which had powered him to chase his dreams from a young age and bet on himself.
“Basketball really means everything to me. After school, I had to make a decision if to continue with my studies or to go all out and pursue my dream of playing basketball professionally. Somehow I dared to tell my father that I want to pursue basketball, but I never felt that my education stopped. Playing basketball allowed me to see the world, be exposed to new cultures and languages. I don't know if I would have been able to do this if I had not pursued my dream of playing basketball," said Prudhvi.
India has more wings and big men than point guards, and Prudhvi is one of the promising young point guards carving his name in a country that has looked for 'Tall and Talented' for the most part in the recent past. He is constantly looking for ways to improve and learn from those around him, and he had plenty of chances to do that in UBA Season 4, as Mumbai Challengers were bolstered by the addition of former NBA G-League player Alex Scales, Jimmy Scroggins and former Canadian College Player of the Year Inderbir Gill.
For Prudhvi, playing alongside Inderbir gave him a new perspective on the point guard position. "It was really incredible to play alongside a player like Inderbir Gill, who also plays point guard like me. Having him on my team, looking at how he prepares and plays, I've experienced a lot and feel that I can analyze the game a lot better." In UBA Season 4, Inderbir averaged 6.7 assists per game (tied for 4th) and had multiple double-doubles with points and assists. For his part, Prudhvi was 12th in the league in assists per game, averaging 4 dimes per contest.
Along with Inderbir, Prudhvi also draws inspiration from his childhood idol, Allen Iverson. Looking at Iverson, I get really inspired knowing that he succeeded the way he did. I've always wanted to outwork the next guy, knowing that if Iverson did it at this height, it can be done." In his younger days, Prudhvi sported cornrows after his idol, but won't be rocking them anytime soon. "I don't think I'll do that now, might be a distraction."
Training at the UBA US Pro Performance Camp, Prudhvi is one of the players who have attended one camp in the past. Speaking of coach Keith Wilson, Prudhvi said "Sessions with Coach Keith Wilson are amazing. He has incredible knowledge about fitness. To play at a high level, you need to train hard beyond the court as well. The right way to exercise, plyometrics, a lot of people do not know how to do all that properly. It's really helpful to have coach show us the right way to help us grow."
Having played in the UBA for three seasons, Prudhvi has seen his game improve and his fan following grow exponentially. "Playing for Mumbai Challengers and winning the UBA Season 4 Championship put me on the radar. Without UBA, I don't think that would have happened. I have got a good fan following after playing for Mumbai Challengers in UBA. In every season, I can see it grow. More and more people call you after games, some to congratulate, some to offer advice. One gets more calls after a bad game though (laughs)"
Bad games are something of an anomaly for this young talent. Watch out for Prudhvi in UBA Season 5 as the Mumbai Challengers look to defend their title.
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.