The NBA on Thursday, December 7 announced the return of The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA programme, a comprehensive youth basketball initiative that applies the values of basketball to positively impact the lives of Indian boys and girls, for its fifth consecutive year. Returning to India for the 2017-18 season, the expanded programme will through March 2018 and expect to engage more than 45 lakh youth and 4,500 physical education instructors and coaches in 34 cities nationwide.
The programme – the largest in its five-year history – will focus on inspiring youth to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle by integrating basketball into the physical education curriculum of the participating schools.
"Between the launch of The NBA Academy India, the opening of NBA Basketball Schools in Mumbai and Delhi, and our largest Jr. NBA programme in the country to date, we are more focused than ever on growing basketball among young Indian boys and girls at all levels," said NBA India Vice President & Managing Director Yannick Colaco. "The Reliance Foundation shares our commitment to holistic development through sports and teaching the values of the game, including teamwork, leadership and respect."
The programme, which remains free for all participants, includes individual skills competitions; a timed circuit-based challenge incorporating dribbling, passing and shooting; and 5-on-5 competitions. The top performers from each in-school skills competition will qualify to attend the citywide skills challenge, and the finalists from each citywide skills challenge will compete at the City Finals in 2018. The Jr. NBA Coaches Academy will train local coaches from partner schools.
During the 2016-17 season, Jr. NBA reached more than 1.8 crore youth in 53 countries through its youth participation initiatives.
Since its launch in 2013, The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA programme has reached more than sixty lakh youth and trained more than 5,000 physical education instructors nationwide. The programme is part of the NBA’s existing basketball and youth development initiatives in India. Students, parents, coaches and teachers can visit rf.jrnba.com, the official destination of The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program, to learn more.