Television

Reliance Foundation expects enhanced reach with jr. NBA program

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MUMBAI: Reliance Foundation and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today (9 December 2015) that it expects to engage more than 1.5 million boys and girls and 2,700 physical education instructors and coaches in 2015-16 edition of the comprehensive youth basketball initiative.

 Returning for the third consecutive year, the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program will nearly double its number of participating cities, expanding from eight to 14.  The program will take place in Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Chennai, Delhi, Kochi, Kottayam, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Lucknow and Hyderabad. The program started in September 2015 and will run until March 2016.  

“We are delighted that the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program is expanding to more cities and reaching more children. This program has used the sport of basketball to greatly impact the lives of Indian children.  We are grateful to the NBA for sharing their world-class expertise and resources, and to the schools, coaches and physical education instructors who continue to support this initiative" said Reliance Foundation head Jagannata Kumar.

NBA India VP and managing director Yannick Colaco added, “The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program continues our goal of providing Indian youth with a platform to stay active and learn the values of basketball, including leadership, teamwork, and healthy living. On the heels of Sim Bhullar becoming the first player of Indian descent to play in the NBA and Satnam Singh becoming the first Indian-born player to be drafted into the NBA, children in India are as excited as ever about trying the game, and the growth of our program will ensure we get basketballs in the hands of even more boys and girls across the country.”

The program, which remains free for participants, will include a train the trainer initiative for local coaches, in-school basketball clinics, elite training camps and finals in each city featuring 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 competitions.  NBA International Basketball Operations staff will be based in each of the cities for three months to oversee the program.  Each participating school will receive essential equipment to encourage and facilitate participation among its students, including an India-specific coaching guide with curricula for in-school and after-school programs, basketballs, cones, and a Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA poster.  In addition, each participating city will host three youth oriented basketball festivals featuring mini hoops for kids aged 6-10.

More than 1 million youth in over 1,000 schools across nine cities have participated in the program since its launch in 2013.  In addition, more than 15,000 basketballs and 300 basketball rims have been distributed and installed through the program, and NBA International Basketball Operations staff has trained more than 2,000 physical education teachers across the country.

NBA Legends Bruce Bowen and Muggsy Bogues, WNBA All-Stars Tamika Catchings and Swin Cash, and Sim Bhullar, the first player of Indian descent to play in the NBA, have all travelled to India to support and participate in the program.

Prospective participants, including children, parents, coaches and schools, can visit rf.jrnba.com for program information, including training resources and tips on staying fit.

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