Reliance Foundation and NBA Launch Project to Install Basketball Hoops in Schools
-Sacramento Kings Point Guard Isaiah Thomas Tips Off Project with Youth Clinic-
MUMBAI, June 10, 2014 – The Reliance Foundation and National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced a new project to install basketball hoops in more than 50 schools across Mumbai as part of their joint commitment to developing basketball infrastructure in India and to facilitate access to the game.
This marks the next step in the partnership between the two organizations, which launched the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA Program in 2013 and has taught basketball and the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle to nearly 150,000 youth across two Indian cities. The program will expand to six cities in 2014.
NBA point guard Isaiah Thomas of the Sacramento Kings, traveling to India on behalf of the NBA to help grow the game, was on-hand to help tip off the first stage of the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA Program’s Basketball Hoops Infrastructure project, which included hosting a youth clinic at the IES school in Dadar. Isaiah will be part of several basketball initiatives across the city designed to inspire youth to play and to grow the NBA’s fan base.
“This is my first visit to India, and I am really excited to see the passion for basketball here that I have been hearing about,” said Thomas. “NBA India and the Reliance Foundation are doing a great job in the development and promotion of the sport here, and I look forward to helping them as much as possible.”
This basic infrastructure will give thousands of youth across Mumbai access to the game year- round, further allowing them to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
“The progress under the Reliance Foundation Jr NBA program in reaching approximately 150,000 youth through in-school and after school programs has been very satisfying. The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA Program is now providing the basic infrastructure needed to play the game of basketball,” said Jagannatha Kumar, CEO, Reliance Foundation. “By installing these hoops, hundreds of thousands of Indian youth can play the game together and help grow the game throughout India.”
“This is the next step in our partnership with the Reliance Foundation as we continue to grow basketball across India,” said Yannick Colaco, Managing Director, NBA India. “Since our partnership last year, the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program has integrated basketball into the school level and helps promote a healthy and active lifestyle to Indian youth.”
The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program has featured more than 5,000 in-school basketball sessions and hosted 11 after-school basketball locations. The international coaches, appointed by the NBA to implement the program, have trained more than 300 physical education instructors. Each local coach received a “Basketball in a Bag” which contained a localized coaching guide, cones, whistles, a stopwatch, posters, and an air pump. In addition, more than 5,000 basketballs have been provided to participating schools in order to give youth an opportunity to learn and enjoy the game.
About Reliance Foundation
Reliance Foundation (RF) aims to play a catalytic role in addressing the nation’s development challenges through innovative and sustainable solutions with its focus on five core pillars: Rural Transformation, Education, Health, Urban Renewal, and Promotion and protection of India’s Arts, Culture and Heritage. Smt. Nita M. Ambani is the Chairperson of Reliance Foundation and the guiding spirit behind the Foundation's ambitious vision of becoming the leading vehicle for social development, empowering the underprivileged and infusing social transformation in India. Reliance Foundation has touched the lives of over a million underprivileged across the country, reaching out to over 4,000 villages and various urban locations.
About the NBA
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League. The league has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2013-14 season featured a record 92 international players from 39 countries and territories. NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, which is available in 60 million U.S. homes, and NBA.com, which set a record last year with more than 9.5 billion page views, with more than half of all visitors originating from outside of North America. The NBA is the No. 1 professional sports league on social media, with more than 625 million likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league and its teams and players have donated more than $237 million to charity, completed more than 3 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 895 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play.