Early Life of Khushi Ram
Khushi Ram was born on 7th August 1936 in Kharak Bhura village in Jind district of Haryana in Jat Family. Khushi Ram spent his childhood in village and completed his education there. He joined Delhi based Army unit the Rajputana Rifles in 1950 as a Boy Recruit. Khushi Ram was mentored by basketball coach Subedar Moolchand in the early stage of his career.
Career of Khushi Ram
Khushi Ram began to play for Armed Forces in initial stages of his career, just because of his excellent sense of the game and amazing shooting skills, he turned out to be an asset for his team and kept participating in all National level and other major tournaments in India. From 1958 to 1968, the time Khushi Ram was associated with Army, the Armed Force basketball team won the National title continuously for 10 years in which he was judged as the best player many times. Khushi Ram quickly gained popularity and became one of the prominent basketball players in India.
Retirement from Indian Army
Khushi Ram retired from Indian Army in the year 1969 and moved to Kota in Rajasthan and joined Shri Ram Rayons, then he represented Rajasthan team for 5 years in National Basketball Championships. In 1964 Khushi Ram was selected in the Indian National Basketball Team for the 4th Quadrangular tournament in Colombo. It was his international debut, his performance was appreciated by his coach and the selectors of team. He secured his position and became a key player of the Indian team. The very next year in 1965 he was named as the captain of Indian team for Asian Basketball Championship which was held in Kuala Lumpur, though India's position was 7th in the tournament, Khushi Ram stood as the highest scorer of the tournament . He almost had an average score of 30 - 35 points in each game played by him against big Asian super powers like South Korea, Japan, and Chinese Taipei. In those days India relied on shoulders of Khushi Ram for scoring baskets at pivot point as there was lack of efficient ball handling skills in players. Then he continued to maintain the position as the 2nd highest scorer in 1967 ABC Championship in Seoul where India secured 6th position. In a match played between India and Philippines, India faced a defeat by a big margin but Khushi Ram solely netted 40 points out of 63 points scored by the Indian team, his basket conversion percentage used to be 85% in all major international tournaments. During 1969 ABC Championship in Bangkok he once again topped the scoring charts in Asia; in this tour he along with Captain Gulam Abbas Moontasir and other players outplayed every team except Philippines and South Korea. India progressed a level and stood 5th in the tournament. It is an unbreakable record that he still holds as an Indian and no other basketball player from India has ever registered himself as the highest scorer in the Asian Basketball Championship. He became a well known figure in Basketball circuit leaving behind the other greats of Asia and with this was declared as the best shooter and the most prestigious player in Asia.
Death of Khushi Ram
Khushi Ram died on 29th December 2013 when he felt chest pain while giving away the prizes in a local function at his home town.
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