September 3, 2011
Mahindra NBA Challenge to tip off in Thiruvanathapuram for first-time ever
The Mahindra NBA Challenge, the largest, multi-city, community-based basketball league in India, is tipping off in Thiruvanathapuram for the first time on Sept. 3. This will mark the NBA’s first event in the state of Kerala and as part of the league’s commitment to grow the sport of basketball in the country.
The Mahindra NBA Challenge, conducted in collaboration with the Basketball Federation of India (BFI), the Kerela Basketball Association, and the Thiruvanathapuram District Basketball Association will run for eight weeks culminating on October 16.
Thiruvanathapuram is the fifth and final city participating in season two of the program following leagues held in Bangalore, Delhi, Ludhiana and Mumbai. Participation has increased by 30% from the inaugural season in 2010 with more than 6,000 participants.
Approximately 100 teams will participate in Thiruvanathapuram across four divisions: sub-junior for ages 12 to 13, youth for ages 14 to16, and junior for ages 16 to 18 and adults 19 and over.
Thiruvanathapuram, and the state of Kerala, are a natural choice for the NBA and for the basketball programme to head for next: Kerala has amongst the most fervent and well-organised hoops cultures in India. It is the state that has nursed some great Indian players, including Geethu Anna Jose, the first Indian player to be offered a trial with WNBA teams. Dozens of school competitions are already held annually in the state. A few months ago, the Director of Basketball Operations of NBA-India Troy Justice held camps for coaches and players in Thiruvanathapuram.
The Mahindra NBA Challenge will provide NBA-style basketball training in a fun environment and offer players the chance to compete against each other at the Central Stadium.
The league will culminate with a weekend-long celebration of basketball from October 14 to 16 that will feature an all-star game, semi-finals and finals. The event will engage the community with NBA-style entertainment, musical and dance performances and on-court basketball contests where fans can win exciting prizes.
The inaugural Mahindra NBA Challenge, held from April 2010 to September 2010, included leagues in Mumbai, Ludhiana, and Bangalore and attracted thousands of participants, including members of India’s Men’s and Women’s National Basketball Team. For more information please visit www.facebook.com/mahindranbachallenge.