New Delhi: The National Basketball Association (NBA) on Tuesday opened its first academy in India, confident that it will help the sport grow in the country.
An elite basketball training center at Jaypee Greens Integrated Sports Complex here was officially thrown open for the upcoming male and female talent of the country. Twenty-one elite male prospects, who were selected following a three-month nationwide talent search, will receive scholarships and training at NBA Academy India.
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Today s launch was attended by NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum and NBA India Managing Director Yannick Colaco. NBA Academy India will employ a holistic, 360-degree approach to player development and will also focus on education, leadership, character development and life skills.
As part of the program, the students will compete against tough rivals throughout the year and will have an opportunity to be selected for travel teams that play in international tournaments and exhibition games. “The opening of our first academy in India is an important milestone in the NBA s efforts to grow basketball in India and demonstrates our commitment to developing talent and shaping the game s future here, said Tatum. “These 21 young athletes and those who will attend this academy in the years to come will receive world-class coaching and training to help them fulfil their potential on and off the court.”
Three experienced coaches have been selected to guide the development of the players at the state of the art facility. Ray Farrell, who has coached at the collegiate level in the U.S. and conducted basketball camps internationally for 36 years, will serve as Technical Director and will oversee all aspects of oncourt and offcourt development.
Jacques Vandescure, a former professional player and former NBA scout who has coached across Africa, will serve as the Player Development Coach. Todd Gates, a former coach at the NCAA Division I level for 10 years, will serve as the Strength and Conditioning Coach. WNBA Legend Jennifer Azzi will be the Technical Director of the girls program.
The opening today follows the launch of academies in Hangzhou, Jinan and Urumqi (all China), Thies (Senegal); and the planned launch of NBA Global Academy in Canberra (Australia).