It's the summer of Africa for the NBA. Many of the league's heavyweights - players, coaches, and the commissioner - are in South Africa for the first-ever exhibition game in the continent, set to be held between 'Team Africa' and 'Team World' tomorrow in Johannesburg. The NBA continues to expand its borders and continues to prove that basketball can truly transcend all languages, cultures, and continents.
And India are tasting some of that potjiekos, too.
NBA has selected six coaches from India to take part in the 13th Basketball Without Borders (BWB) programme at the American International School of Johannesburg, South Africa from July 29 - August 1. The troop of coaches are being guided by Carlos Barroca, the Senior Director of NBA India.
The coaches Mal Singh from Guru Harkishan Das Public School (Ludhiana), Jeevan Raj from CMS Public School (Kochi), Varun Ahlawat from Delhi Public School, Vasundhara (New Delhi), Anahita Gupta from Modern School for Girls (Kolkata), Digambar Mali from Fr. Agnels School, Vashi (Mumbai) and Udhayakumar from Lady Andal Venkatasubbarao High School (Chennai) have been selected for the programme. Their selection was made on the basis of number of students they engaged, the number of basketball led classes they conducted and their overall involvement with the program.
"The teachers did a great job in India and are here at BWB Africa to continue to learn and enhance their basketball training skills with the best coaches/trainers from around the world," said Barroca, "They will also view the NBA Africa Game - which will be a once in a lifetime experience for them."
While the eyes of most of the world will be on Chris Paul, Luol Deng, the Gasol brothers, and other current and former stars at the NBA Africa Game, the BWB programme will prove that the NBA is invested in not only promoting the very best that the sport has to offer, but also to help develop basketball at the grassroots level. The exchange of international coaching ideas and the vibrant energy in Johannesburg is sure to help these Indian coaches; hopefully, they can pass on that energy, the fundamentals, and the coaching styles that they learn to students back home in India.