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NBA comes to India: Two pre-season games set for October in Mumbai

NBA comes to India: Two pre-season games set for October in Mumbai
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The worlds most popular professional basketball league, the NBA, on Thursday announced it will bring two preseason games to India next year, making it...

Mumbai: The world’s most popular professional basketball league, the NBA, on Thursday announced it will bring two pre-season games to India next year, making it the first North American sports league to foray into the country. The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings will play in two pre-season games in Mumbai on October 4 and 5 next year.

The games will take place at the NSCI Dome in Worli, announced NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum and NBA India Managing Director Yannick Colaco here. “Our inaugural NBA India Games will help further untap the enormous basketball potential in a country with a thriving sports culture and a growing, young and engaged population,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a media release. “We thank the Kings and Pacers organisations for participating in this historic event,” he added. In addition to the games, the league and its partners would conduct interactive fan activities, junior NBA youth basketball programming and NBA Cares community outreach events.

The Kings, under the leadership of the NBA's first Indian-born majority owner and Mumbai native Vivek Ranadive, currently features 2018 No. 2 overall draft pick Marvin Bagley III, 2017 No. 5 overall draft pick DeAaron Fox and 2016 No. 6 overall draft pick Buddy Hield (Bahamas). Draft picks are players who are eligible to compete in the NBA, selected by the competing teams.

The Pacers roster currently features 2018 NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo, 2016 NBA All-Rookie second team member Myles Turner and 2016 No. 11 overall draft pick Domantas Sabonis (Lithuania). “We are proud to be the first global sports league to bring games of this scale to India. The NBA and basketball have never been more popular in India, and fans will get to enjoy world-class showcases for our sport between two exciting teams in the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers,” said Colaco.

Ranadive said his team is looking forward to playing in the first NBA games in India. The Sacramento Kings are proud to be playing in the first NBA games ever held in India. As an Indian-American, it is an honour to help bring this historic moment to the country where I was raised,” said Ranadive.

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