Renowned basketball coach Rajesh Patel no more

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 May 2018 11:17:18


Staff Reporter,


Chief Minister, entire sports fraternity of C’garh express grief over the huge loss

Renowned former International Player and Basketball Coach, Rajesh Patel, known as the ‘Dronacharya of Basketball’ passed away on Monday after suffering cardiac arrest at Panipat, while he was escorting his team to Ludhiana. He was 62 years old. As per the sources, Patel suffered chest pain and on complaint, he was rushed to hospital where he was declared as brought dead. His untimely death has created a vacuum in the sports scenario of the country.

The news of his untimely demise was a shock for the sports fraternity from Steel City Bhilai. People started assembling at his resident at Sector-1 Bhilai where presently his wife Anita Patel was present. His elder son, Ankit Patel was at Delhi, and as soon as he got the news he rushed to Ludhina while his younger song Rohit Patel is with him. Sources informed that his body will be brought to Bhilai on Tuesday morning and his last rites would be performed in Bhilai.

Rajesh Patel has spotted and developed some of India’s finest players over the years, created the country’s finest basketball women team, and been responsible for the success of various teams over the years. Patel has a long history of success, for himself and for the talents that he produced. In 1973 he started his career from Basketball Stadium Indore, and joined BSP in 1979 in sports quota. Firstly coached male team and then from 1995 onwards, he had been thoroughly involved in coaching and developing women basketball players in Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) and for the Indian national team.

Patel was the coach of the Chhattisgarh state team, the Secretary of Chhattisgarh Basketball Association. He was the man behind the discovery and development of several star players, who are currently in India’s national women squad that achieved many international awards and medals. Over the past years, he trained hordes of athletes (at the Senior as well as Junior level) who went on to represent India in FIBA Asia Championships, in Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

He was also a FIBA certified International Referee in basketball and had officiated in many international Tournaments in India and abroad. The number of talented stars who had blossomed under his tutelage during this period is too vast to be mentioned here. Patel was originally from Indore MP, but it was to Chhattisgarh Basketball in Bhilai where he dedicated in life. He has the credit of winning many state level and national level awards comprising of Vikram Puraskar, Vishwamitra Puraskar, Veer Hanuman Singh Puraksar, SAIL Best Player Award, National Sports Time Award to name a few.

Rajiv Jain, President of Chhattisgarh Basketball Association, stated that his loss is irreparable, and the vacuum that has been created in basketball game will never be filled. Jain said, “They will try their level best to organize unique program in his remembrance.” Anju Lakda a senior player said, “She is still unable to believe that he is no more. He is like a father of basketball for her and other players who taught them the nuances of basketball from elementary level, and he should be attributed the full credit for ensuring the position in the sports scenario