Thinley Namgay 

Poedma Tshokey Gyamtsho, 18, grew up watching his local idol, Rinzy Wangchuk, dominate local basketball tournaments at the Swimming Pool Sports Complex for years.

Inspired by his local hero, Poedma wanted to play with him and share a moment with his “icon.”

 His wish came true last week during the 2022 BoB A-League in Thimphu which concluded on December 13.    Poedma, who plays for Blue Magics, played shoulder to shoulder against his favourite, Rinzy Wangchuk of team Jachungs in the league round.  His team lost to the more experienced Jachungs. But it was a win for Poedma. Rinzy Wangchuk, 42, commonly known as Bap Rinzy, a businessman from Thimphu plays basketball whenever he is free. He has been playing

basketball for the last 28 years. Today, Rinzy is one of the most respected and oldest basketball players in the country.

Rinzy is a friend of Poedma’s uncles. To Poedma’s satisfaction, both  Bap Rinzy and Poedma were recognised this week.  Poedma was the Rookie player of the year while Bap Rinzy was the most valuable player (MVP)  during the final against team

Zhoems on December 13.

For Poedma,  Bap  Rinzy is the greatest of all time in basketball in Bhutan. “He is 42 years old but has the body of a 24-year-old.  He is very hard working and from what I know, he lives a very healthy lifestyle.”

Poedma said it is impossible to take on Rinzy even at this age.  “When I am in the court with him, I can feel that it’s just impossible to stop him. He gives his best until the end irrespective of whether his team has a 20-point lead or 20 points behind.”

Poedma’s idol is humble in his achievement. “Getting the  MVP at this age feels good. However, it is teamwork and I thank my mates for their contribution,” Rinzy said. His love for the game keeps him playing.

Bap Rinzy sees a huge potential in Poedma. “I have seen him playing as a child. He is a great basketballer,” he said.  “Seeing him grow and then play great basketball is simply great. I wish him all the best in future.”

On specific skills, Bap Rinzy said Poedma is a great shooter and if left unguarded, he can destroy the other team. 

Bap Rinzy said Basketball in Bhutan is improving and the quality of players and tournaments has improved.  He said players now are much taller and play team games which is impressive.

“For me, I always thought I would get to play in a new basketball court before I retire and it never happened,” Rinzy said.

Poedma had an astonishing season in his debut participation in the A-League. On average, he made 23 points a game for his team.

Poedma joined Blue Magics when he was in class X and has been playing basketball since he was four years old.

Currently, Poedma studies political science and sociology at Royal  Thimphu College.

Poedma is a fan of  Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association.