Birmingham: There was no Indian team competing in 3×3 basketball as the T20 version of the sport made its debut in the Commonwealth Games here on Friday. However, a person with connection to India still made history, by scoring the first basket in the new sport that is getting a lot of attention in recent times and was even included in the Tokyo Olympics.
Bikramjit Gill, a Canadian of Indian origin, on Friday etched his name in the history books by scoring the first basket in the Commonwealth Games’ first ever 3×3 basketball match. Canada beat Kenya 15-12 in the opening men’s Pool A match at Smithfield on Friday.
“It feels good, man. I’ve made a bit of history in my career at times, but this was emotional. It’s in the top-three moments of my life. It felt phenomenal to open up 3×3 at these Games. A lot of people might look past it, but sometimes you’ve just got to be living in the moment,” Gill said after the match.
Gill said the atmosphere at the venue was great despite it being played for the first time.
“The crowd gave us a lot of love and it was just awesome to be here. Venue-wise, this takes the cake. The whole setup here is amazing. To see 2,500 people in such an enclosed environment — it’s very intimate.
“It’s just cool to have the people feel like they’re on top of you. And you hear everything,” he said.
Gill had recently grown his hair as a symbol of his Sikh faith after trimming it for many years to gel with the local crowd in Malton, Ontario. He is now the only Sikh-Canadian basketball player competing at the professional level.
He comes from a family of basketball players as his father played for the Indian national team while his older brother played varsity basketball at a college back home.