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The dribble effect

"India is hot, warm and spicy. Ironically India, has always been close yet so far from me, but I'm glad it's finally happening.

india Updated: May 30, 2006 03:04 IST

India is all set to get a taste of NBA flavour as former Houston Rockets player, Robert Reid heads eastwards to give lessons in basketball in Ludhiana from June 3-5.

"India is hot, warm and spicy. Ironically India, has always been close yet so far from me, but I'm glad it's finally happening," says the eight-foot-six-inch tall star who had an illustrious 11-year stint with Houston Rockets in the NBA league in the '80s.

Raising the bar

Reid's trip, on the invitation of the sports department of the Punjab government, coincides with the 57th Junior (U-18) National Basketball Championship for boys and girls. He will conduct three interactive and training sessions for players and coaches.

"The objective of this trip is to raise the bar for Indian basketball. The game is changing globally, so why should we rely on age old forms of training and practice," says former hockey star Pargat Singh, who is at the helm of sports affairs in Punjab. Adds, Sunil Yash Kalra, consultant to the Punjab sports department, "Reid is a name to reckon with in the US for basketball coaching and we hope to utilise his talent here." Reid is presently the national spokesperson for the NBA to China.

Poor cousin

On coming to India to promote a game, which is a non-entity here, Reid says, "Every country has a number one immensely popular sport and then you have two, three and four. But just because a sport is popular does not mean that others don’t exist." Right said Reid!