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NBA initiative: More leagues

other Updated: Jul 18, 2010 00:02 IST
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The National Basketball Association (NBA) is all set to expand its efforts at popularising the sport in India by launching leagues in two more cities.

The Mahindra NBA Challenge has already proved a successful venture in Mumbai, where the local league attracted over 1000 players, forming 100 teams.

Another local league was lanced in Bangalore on Saturday, while a third will be formed in Ludhiana by the month end.

The NBA, in partnership with Mahindra, the Basketball Federation of India and the state associations, has identified centres where the game is already popular for the first phase of this community-based initiative.

"The idea," says Akash Jain, director of international development with the sports and entertainment giant, “is to develop a structured programme to grow basketball in communities and give them easy access to the sport.

We aim to add one or two more cities to the programme annually, reaching 10 cities in the next few years.”

Jain says a great thing about basketball in India is that both boys and girls play it.

“We are committed to the market and our goal is to make basketball the second most popular sport in India in the next five years.”