NBA Star Brandon Jennings to Visit India to Continue Growth of Basketball

Youngest Player in NBA History to Score 55 Points in a Game Will Attend Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Finals and NBA Cares Events in Mumbai and Pune

05/5/2011

NEW YORK and MUMBAI, May 5 – National Basketball Association (NBA) rising star Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks will travel to India from May 13 to 18 to conduct a series of events to grow the game of basketball in Mumbai and Pune. 

Jennings became the youngest player to score 55 points in a game on November 14, 2009 and is the 16th NBA or WNBA player or legend to travel to India in last three years as part of the league’s continued commitment to grow the game.

“Having played in Italy, I have seen first-hand how the sport is growing globally and I am excited to visit India with the NBA to help continue the growth of the game,” said Jennings. “The NBA has the best basketball players from around the world and it is amazing to think that one of the kids I teach in India could one day play against me in the NBA.”

Jennings will attend the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA National Skills Challenge Finals on May 15 in Mumbai.  The event is the culmination of the largest school-based initiative ever conducted by the NBA in India.  Since March, the NBA and HP have taught basketball and life skills to youth in 500 schools in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune. Additionally, 500 coaches attended two-day clinics in each city where they learned coaching techniques and received a “Basketball in a Box” coaching kit, which will provide them with a resource to grow basketball in their community.  HP Dream Screens were used at all coaching clinics to provide video demonstrations to help illustrate certain coaching techniques. 

Fifty youth from across India have advanced to the National Skills Challenge Finals by qualifying at City Championships.  Jennings will crown the boys and girls National Champions, and conduct a basketball clinic for participants.  HP and the NBA will provide the champions with an HP laptop and a trip to New York City to train with an NBA coach and visit NBA headquarters. 

On May 16, NBA Cares will partner with Magic Bus, a not-for-profit organization in India to conduct a basketball clinic in Mumbai.  Magic Bus works towards creating equal opportunities for children and youth from vulnerable communities.  Over the past 12 years, Magic Bus has used its unique “sport for development” approach to empower children and youth to make positive life choices in areas of gender, education, livelihood and health.  Jennings will work with youth from two communities, using basketball to illustrate the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle.

Jennings will then travel to Pune where he will become the first NBA player to host an event in the city.  He will conduct a clinic for children and coaches who participated in the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program on May 17 and will host an NBA Cares basketball clinic for disadvantaged youth on May 18.

Following high school, where he was rated as one of the top recruits in the United States, Jennings played one season in Italy for Lottomatica Virtus Roma, a top Euroleague team.  He was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.  He guided his team to the NBA Playoffs in his rookie season and became the first player to win Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month four times.

Jennings Schedule:

Date

Event

Time

Location

May 14

Magic Bus/NBA Cares Clinic

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Magic Bus, Mumbai

May 15

Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Skills Challenge National Finals

3:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Indian Gymkhana, Mumbai

May 17

Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Clinic

4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

PYC Gymkhana Club, Pune

May 18

NBA Cares Clinic

9:00-10:00 a.m.

TBD, Pune

The NBA has unprecedented television coverage for the playoffs in India this year on Ten Sports and Sony Pix.  Fans can watch a record six live games during the first two rounds and complete coverage of the conference finals and NBA Finals.  In December 2009, the NBA launched www.NBA.com/india, the league’s first localized website in India.  The league has marketing partnerships in India with adidas, Coca-Cola, EA SPORTS, HP, Mahindra, Nike, Reebok, and Spalding and recently launched its most comprehensive line of NBA jerseys and merchandise in 200 adidas stores across the country.

About the NBA
The NBA, founded in 1946, is a professional sports league and global business that features 30 teams in the United States and Canada.  During the 2009-10 season, NBA games will reach 215 countries and territories in 41 languages.  The league’s worldwide reach is also displayed in the 79 international players from 35 countries and territories on NBA rosters.  NBA merchandise is sold in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents.  NBA.com averages more than 26 million page views per day, with more than 50 percent of the site’s visitors coming from outside of North America.  Through NBA Cares, the league, its teams and players have donated more than $140 million to charity, provided more than 1.1 million hours of hands-on service to communities around the world, and created 484 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play, including 85 places in 21 countries on five continents internationally.

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