Royal Sport to National One? It’s No Slam Dunk

New York Times, Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Royal Sport to National One?  It’s No Slam Dunk, by Gardiner Harris

“Thimphu, Bhutan–With just seconds left in the game, the queen of Bhutan went to the hole like a hungry snow leopard pouncing on a mountain goat, taking two dribbles and three long strides before putting up a royal layup…

Yes, your majesty!

Basketball may be a street game in the United States, but it is the game of kings and queens in Bhutan,” which may be one of the problems for the South Korean coach who “has been hired to cobble together a national team that many hope will someday be able to challenge its neighbors for bragging rights in South Asia and beyond.”

Bhutan has a problem with its height: few are taller than six feet, and the queen and her husband and brothers-in-law, all avid basketball players are 5’5″ and not much taller.  Also, the royal players are of such “an exalted” status that it’s uncomfortable for other players to check them.  As for slam dunks, “Paljor Dorji, an impish 70-year-old says he doesn’t think the backboards “are strong enough for a lot of slam dunking.”

However, with royal connection and enthusiasm for basketball, Bhutan is ready for basketball challenges.

To see a definition of “slam dunk” go to



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