Hailing from a family of recreational basketball players in Aizawl, Mizoram, Lalrina Renthlei grew up adoring the sport. At 16, he played at the Senior National Basketball Championship as the youngest member of the team. “I loved basketball, but one day, my friends pulled me into a snooker parlour. After trying my hand at snooker, I fell in love with it!”
From then on, Lalrina decided to pursue snooker full-time, giving up a promising career in basketball. In 2010, he played his first Nationals, knocking out the senior defending champion. He then won the National Junior championship in 2011 and continued to represent the country. “But then, I had an accident and severely injured my back. The doctors said if I continued playing, the injury would get even worse.”
After completing his 30-day bedrest, Lalrina still got back to the table– “But I couldn’t bend or aim for more than 5 minutes because of the pain.” Lalrina still played the Nationals, but his performance was drastically affected which led to the termination of his sports scholarship. He felt lost; that’s when he decided to give basketball a try again.
After a long gap, he started practicing the sport. But now, he was slower and stiffer, and his back was still recovering. “Mom would ask me to drop out each time I complained about my back, because it could potentially end my chances to ever walk again,” Lalrina says. People around him didn’t think he could pick up the high-intensity sport and just asked him to put his health before his dream.
But even a life-threatening injury couldn’t stop Lalrina. He built his stamina and agility from scratch. His persistence got him in the Mizoram Super League; he soon became the star player there, winning 4 Championships in a row, bagging the Most Valuable Player award three years in a row. In 2019, he played his first international basketball tournament, FIBA 3x3 World Tour. as well as 3x3 Pro Basketball League. He is currently ranked no. 4 in the FIBA ranking in the country.
Mahindra salutes the challenger spirit of people like Lalrina who remind us that with grit and determination, we can chase any dream. #Rise