November 4, 2011

3rd Season of Mahindra NBA Challenge to tip off

MUMBAI: The third season of the Mahindra NBA Challenge – the largest, multi-city, community-based basketball league in India – will tip off Nov. 5 in Mumbai, the National Basketball Association (NBA), Mahindra, and the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) has jointly announced.

For the first time, the program will feature the Mahindra NBA Challenge National Finals. Winning teams from the senior 19+ and junior 16-18 divisions for both men and women in each city league will compete against each other to determine the National Finals winner. The program will visit five cities, including Kochi for the first time. Leagues also will be held in Bangalore, Delhi, Ludhiana, and Mumbai.

The programme has rapidly expanded since its introduction in 2009 with the number of teams participating doubling in season two. The program has helped to identify and develop top basketball talent, with the Indian national team extending training camp invites to 20 male and female players that participated in the Mahindra NBA Challenge.

The five-city league will feature four age divisions for both men and women: Sub-Junior for ages 12-13, Youth for ages 14-16, Junior for ages 16-18 and Adults ages 19 and over.

“Now in its third season, the Mahindra NBA Challenge has become a premiere platform to help identify and develop basketball talent at the grassroots level in India,” said Senior Director of Development for NBA India Akash Jain. “With the support of Mahindra, BFI, and all our partners, we are pleased to enhance the program with new elements, including the first-ever national finals, which will help further drive interest in our game.”

The Mahindra NBA Challenge not only involves competitive games, but also provides opportunities for skill development with more than 200 total player and coaching clinics conducted to date. Additionally, six different NBA All-Stars and NBA/WNBA Legends have traveled to India over the past two seasons to run clinics for participants.

“Over the past two years the Mahindra NBA Challenge has played an integral part in the growth of basketball in India,” said CEO of BFI Harish Sharma. “Along with the NBA and Mahindra, we are excited to offer Indian players more opportunities to perfect their skills and elevate their game.”

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