Basketball camp for resettled Bhutanese in Pittsburg

Published on Apr 16 2009 // Main News

New York, April 16, 2009: Exiled Bhutanese resettled in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, played basketball match hoping that it would help them fit into their new homes. 

Suyesh Acharya, who was born in Nepal and moved to the United States organized the clinic as part of his senior project in the hopes that basketball where people above 11 years participated. 

“There’s two types of passes in basketball: chest pass and bounce pass,” said Acharya, 18, at Moon Area High School, demonstrating both as he led a basketball clinic Sunday morning at Wallace Park in Whitehall.

Acharya had moved to US 10 years ago.

“When we moved here 10 years ago from Thailand, I already knew how to play basketball and that helped me make friends,” he said.

There are now about 180 Bhutanese refugees in the Pittsburgh area, living in Green Tree, Whitehall and Castle Shannon, with as many as 1,000 expected to move to Pittsburgh in the next several years.

Bhagawat Phuyal, 15, was born in a refugee camp in Nepal and moved to Whitehall in June. Many days after he comes home from Baldwin High School, where he’s a freshman, he and other Bhutanese play soccer in the outfield of Wallace Park’s baseball diamond.

As part of the clinic, each participant got his own basketball and Bhutanese Basketball Camp T-shirt. As the day progressed, the grounds around the court filled with toddlers playing on a swing set and grandparents in traditional dress who wandered down from the Prospect Park apartments.