One of the premier sports leagues of the USA, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has garnered attention from all around the globe over the years and is also garnering development and fan-following in India as well.
The NBA India academy has churned out many prospectus talents who have made it to the G-League, drawing up a promising future into the senior league as well.
This year, the Reliance Foundation Junior NBA program for the boys and girls has kicked off from 6th March with an aim to bloom the sport in the country from the bottom up. The series, which will be held for 12 weeks, will see players and coaching staff from the NBA, WNBA, and G-League interacting with the participants.
Roy Hibbert claims NBA “wants to tap the Indian market”
This Saturday, two-time NBA All-Star and former Philadelphia 76ers player development associate Roy Hibbert hosted the interactive session with the young basketball prospects of the country and elaborates how the Indian market has become a focal point for the league.
There is a very large population here that loves basketball, you guys have dedicated fans,” Hibbert said in a virtual media conference, “I am not sure what time most games come on, I assume it is either late at night or early in the morning, but when you have a fan base like that, you have to make sure you pay attention to them because they are consuming the product so well.”
“I am hoping to get selected to go to India when the pandemic is over and give what I have to the kids,” the 34-year-old went on, “NBA wants to tap the Indian market. I am not sure if they have any NBA facilities for the future, but I assume that is on Adam Silver’s (NBA commissioner) mind once the pandemic slows down.”
During his stint with the Sixers, Hibbert noticed how the players, especially the team stalwart Joel Embiid relied on varieties of film work and had his own private workout guy, emphasizing on the videos to improve his offensive and defensive plays.
The former center believes a similar method if implemented in the program for the youngsters in India would do wonders.
“I am not sure who has access to the videos, but I would say invest in that. If I can break down five-six plays, show how to set it and show people how to get a bucket, that is the best thing to do,” Hibbert added.
A 2008 first round draft pick out of Georgetown, Hibbert had originally joined Toronto Raptors but was later traded to Indiana Pacers. He spent seven seasons with the Pacers until 2015, and was selected for the All-Star twice (2012, 2014).
He joined Los Angeles Lakers in 2015 and in the next year was traded to Charlotte Hornets. In February 2017, Denver Nuggets became his destination, who however made Hibbert an unrestricted free agent during the offseason. Hibbert retired from the sport in July 2018.
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