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Central Asian Basketball Classic 2023

By: Henry Moore

After a two-year gap in BIS’s participation in CABC (Central Asian Basketball Classic), our middle and high school basketball teams finally got a chance to show their skills in the tournament. 4 teams of our Taigans traveled to Tashkent this year to compete in what I think is the best Central Asian basketball tournament for international schools. 

On Monday, the 13th of February, BIS traveled by airplane to Tashkent a few days before the opening ceremony of the tournament. While I personally do not enjoy being in airports, the flight there was a fun experience to bond with teammates and coaches in a way that feels more personal than just practice or games. After the short flight to Tashkent, BIS arrived at a hostel to get settled in. We were then taken to a shopping mall on Tuesday to buy some souvenirs and have a nice meal. After the mall, since our teams got there a few days before the start of the tournament, we were given the opportunity to have a practice before the games. This was very beneficial to each category, JV and varsity, to come up with game plans and prepare for the competition. Then from Wednesday through Saturday, our teams competed in their games. 

The trip to Tashkent was not only about basketball but having fun and building stronger bonds with others. This was shown by the optional trip to Samarkand on Sunday, the 19th. We traveled by train in the morning and visited various historical sites as well as a bazaar. It was a nice opportunity to partake in things other than basketball during the trip, as well as to learn some historical facts about the area we were visiting.

As for the results of the tournament, every team showed determination and willingness to compete. Even if this desire to win didn’t show on the podium for some, it goes without saying that each team fought its hardest. The varsity girls played their hearts out to earn 3rd place. As a spectator of their 3rd place game, I could see the passion in every single player. Beating TIS (Tashkent) in the bronze medal game was one of the highlights that BIS had in the tournament. As for the varsity boys, the team started strong, beating one of the strongest teams in TIS at home. This was definitely a display of the character the team has. 

Being a member of this team has been a great experience for both our development in basketball and the lessons we have learned along the way. Even though we struggled to find success in later games (we finished 8th), this does not mean that the tournament was a failure. Every single player learned something about themselves. The JV girls played hard, and for their effort received 4th place, only losing by 1 point in the 3rd place game. The JV boys also received 4th place, playing a very hard game for 3rd but coming up just short of the medal. Overall, the results may not have been stunning, but every team gave it their all, and they should be proud of their participation.