Renowned photographer Rohan Shrestha may most be known for his images of the country’s top celebrities including the likes of Priyanka Chopra, Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Karan Johar, Ranveer Singh, and many, but the latest feather in his cap focuses on another passion – basketball. Shrestha recently launched ‘Home Court’, a one-of-a-kind coffee-table book that presents stories of basketball communities from all corners of India. A collaboration with the National Basketball Association (NBA), ‘Home Court’ is timed perfectly, coming out the same month as the debut match of America’s famous professional league in India – Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings played two pre-season matches in Mumbai earlier this month, furthering the country’s connect with basketball. Rohan Shrestha’s book tries to capture this very connect with the sport.
The book features images of basketball enthusiasts, players, coaches, teams and individuals, each of whom feel deeply for the sport. Shrestha worked on ‘Home Court’ for almost three years, during which time he travelled all over the country to find these communities and groups. We spoke to him about what that experience was like.
What should one expect from this book?
‘Home Court’ is a treasure of stories and journeys across various Indian backyards, of individuals who have pushed boundaries for the this game. It is an ode to the people who have crossed all odds and remained passionate about the game of basketball – from a fierce group of girls in Gangyap, to monks of Dharamshala who live and breathe basketball as a source of meditation, to 90-year-old men in Periyakulam who continue to play for their passion, the book brings out these unique stories through beautifully described words and images.
What got you interested in basketball and photography?
A big fan of the sport. I’ve grown up watching NBA. I loved watching the Boston Celtics – back in the days, they were one of my favourite teams. I’ve also played the game in school, so working on this project came very naturally to me. My love for photography was fuelled by my father. I loved watching him in his element and that gave me a lot of inspiration to pursue this field.
What led you to combining your passions of basketball and photography?
I’ve been following basketball since I was young, and to work on a project with the NBA is a dream come true. I’ve always used the camera to capture my love for various sports, landscapes, natural elements, and all aspects of human expression. I cannot imagine a better way of combining the two things I’m most passionate about – photography and basketball.
How was it pairing the two for the first time?
It’s been an eye-opening experience and I have learnt a lot through my travels. The NBA team and I exchanged a bunch of ideas on how to curate this piece. We travelled the four corners of the country and across the backyards of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, New Delhi NCR, and Tamil Nadu finally giving birth to ‘Home Court’, which peeks inside India’s unique basketball communities. This book is a chronicle of passionate ballers, a history of communities who have come together over the game, and a tribute to the people who have continued to share their love for basketball over the years.