Orlando turns into basketball oasis | other | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 14, 2017-Thursday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Orlando turns into basketball oasis

The Orange County Convention Centre in downtown Orlando is huge and looks like an oasis in sprawling desert. In the evenings it looks deserted from outside and one get lost trying to find his way into or out of the venue. On Thursday, the Orange County Convention Centre was a beehive of activity at the inauguration of the NBA Jam Session, the community participation programme of NBA Cares, the basketball league's effort towards social cause.

other Updated: Feb 25, 2012 02:53 IST
B Shrikant

The Orange County Convention Centre in downtown Orlando is huge and looks like an oasis in sprawling desert. In the evenings it looks deserted from outside and one get lost trying to find his way into or out of the venue. On Thursday, the Orange County Convention Centre was a beehive of activity at the inauguration of the NBA Jam Session, the community participation programme of NBA Cares, the basketball league's effort towards social cause.

A stroll across the convention centre gives an indication of the sport's popularity in the United States as thousands of young kids, teenagers, their parents and grandparents were roaming the centre with miniature basketballs and other NBA merchandise in their hands, participating in various activities. They had bought tickets worth several dollars for the session, which is a precursor for the All-Star Weekend which starts on Friday, and as the NBA extravaganza had reached Orlando after a gap of two decades, everyone from ordinary Orlandan to the city's politicians to businesses wanted a piece of the action.

With huge cutouts of current players adorning the various courts, the kids had a great time participating in on-court fitness activities, ball throwing competitions, Jam dances and other activities. The biggest turnout was the throws competition against ex-players and legends like Carl Malone and AC Green.

The lockout that had threatened the season couple of months was forgotten and people were also not bothered by the various problems the game is facing. The teeming fans were in no way bothered about serious questions like the uncertain future of three NBA franchises — the Hornets, Sacramento Kings and their own Orlando Magic, which are on the verge of closure because of financial issues. NBA Commissioner David Stern was grilled by the local media about the future of the teams and tried to assuage their fears amidst blaring music and the general cacophony of the various activities around.

For the fans however, it was business as usual as they chased legends for autographs.


NBA gears up for hoops mania

Orlando: The sweetest celebrations are those that follow hard times.
Having weathered a brief lockout over sharing of revenues between franchise owners and players that curtailed the regular season to just 66 games, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is all set to celebrate the sport of hoops at the All-Star Weekend that starts here on Friday. The All-Star Weekend, an annual fixture that is held every February, divides the season into two — giving the players a break from the high-adrenalin daily rigours that take them from city to city across the country. Orlando, the central region of Florida is called The City Beautiful, a tourist hub that would be epicenter of activities celebrating the beautiful game of basketball for the next few days.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/25feb_pg-22c.jpg