Lalrina Renthlei: India’s Basketball Treasure

Lalrina Renthlei held the prestigious rank of ‘Former No.1’ in the 3×3 player category in basketball in India and boasts the title of a three-time MVP in the Mizoram Super League.

Born in a small village of Mizoram in Northeast India, Lalrina Renthlei is a story one needs to hear. He began his sporting journey with the cues only to land up in a basketball court later in life. He is one of the only two players from the state to have represented the India men’s Basketball team. He won a Gold Medal at the South Asian Basketball Championship 2021 in Bangladesh.

Lalrina Renthlei’s Tryst With Basketball

Renthlei held the prestigious rank of ‘Former No.1’ in the 3×3 player category in India and boasts the title of a three-time MVP in the Mizoram Super League. He has also exhibited his skills on the international stage, representing India in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour in Hyderabad, as well as taking part in two FIBA 3×3 Challengers in Taiwan and Goa and the 3×3 league in Thailand in 2022.

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The 5’10’’ tall athlete is the only basketball player to achieve a triple-double in the India National Basketball League. He was selected to play for the Indian-origin team in ESPN’s TBT in the USA in May 2023, but unfortunately, his plans were watered down due to a visa denial. 

As a kid, sport was not Renthlei’s dream. He wanted to become a pilot. However, his dream could not take off due to financial issues in his family. Therefore, soon after finishing his schooling in 2008, he started playing nationals and later made sports his career.

Also Read: How much money do 3×3 basketball players make in a year?

Fate’s Cue For Renthlei

Renthlei initially took up snooker as a professional career where he had a remarkable stint. His feats include bagging the Former U-21 National snooker Gold, a gold medal at the All India Invitational in 2012 held in Chennai, and clinching the title of three-time Senior Bronze Medalist in Pool.

His prowess extends to international competitions as he proudly represented India in prestigious events including the World U-21 Snooker Championship, Asian U-21 Snooker Championship, World Senior Snooker Championship, World 9-ball Pool Championship in Qatar, and the World Team Pool Championship in China.

Lalrina Renthlei: India’s Basketball Treasure
Sourse: Cue Sports India

 

However, Renthlei could not sustain it due to back injury and had to let go of the game. That’s when he went back to his old love; basketball. He forayed into a basketball career in 2025 when the MSL (Mizoram Super League) was introduced in Mizoram. Since then, there has been no looking back for the basketball wizard. He has a wide array of gold and silver trophies and medals that stand as a testimonial to his vibrant sporting journey.

Also Read: Step-by-Step Guide to Become an NBA Player: Unleashing Your Basketball Dreams

Away From Cricket

In a country such as India where cricket seems to be the only promising sport in terms of value, Renthlei is content that he chose after willing to take the risk. He has no regrets in choosing a sport other than cricket.

“In any sport other than cricket, it’s going to be challenging. For me, I have made significant sacrifices. I believe that if you have confidence in yourself and truly strive to achieve something, giving your all, it is attainable. However, the journey comes with its share of sacrifices and losses, especially in a sport that’s not as widely recognized. In India, it’s particularly challenging.

While personal sacrifices are a part of it, for economically disadvantaged families, it becomes even tougher. Yet, with good support from associations or the state, there’s always a way. Many successful athletes, not just in India but worldwide, come from humble backgrounds, and that resilience is what propels them forward,” he reflected. 

It is huge for athletics like Renthlei to make it big on international stages having come from humble villages. It is only hard work, determination and perseverance that make it possible. Renthlei has shown grit. 

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