In 2013, the NBA joined hands with the Reliance Foundation to launch the Reliance Foundation Jr NBA programmes in various Indian cities. In the last two years, the programme reached more than one million youth in 1,000 schools in eight cities around the country. Now, the programme ups the ante: earlier this week, the best performers from the programme over the past year were invited to Greater Noida to receive elite level training and impress NBA-affiliated coaches at the 1st Reliance Foundation JR NBA Elite National Camp.
As a major attraction, the NBA's first Indian-origin player Sim Bhullar - who is in India for a promotional and personal trip this week - inaugurated the camp on May 4th at the Jaypee Greens Integrated Sports Complex in Greater Noida. The camp concluded on May 7th with Bhullar returning for the closing.
On the opening day of the camp, Bhullar, the 7-foot-5 Center who held a 10-day contract with the Sacramento Kings this season, helped train the top 140 youth players from across India in attendance. According to a report by Ekalavyas, sharing their expertise with the participating youth were men’s national team guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, former international players Sambhaji Kadam, Mohit Bhandari, Shiba Maggon, Divya Singh, Sunita Suren, former youth national coach Paramdeep Singh, coach Francisco Garcia, strength and conditioning coach Tommy Heffelfinger, Senior Director Basketball Operations, NBA Troy Justice, Assistant Vice President (AVP) Basketball Operations of NBA China, Greg Stolt, and Senior Director, Basketball Operations of India, Carlos Barroca.
“I am very excited to travel to India to see firsthand how basketball’s popularity has grown and to meet young basketball players across the country,” said Bhullar. “Hopefully sharing my story will help inspire young Indians to pursue their dreams on and off the court, just as I have.”
You can check out fantastic pictures of this camp taken by Adarsh Rao of Ekalavyas here.