August 4, 2010

Dwight Howard to hold clinics in Bangalore, visit Delhi

A little over a month ago, Troy Justice, the NBA's director of basketball operations in India, had promised Indian fans that he will be revealing some "big news" soon.

Few expected the "big" part to be this literal. As literal as a 6 foot 11 dominating NBA giant. The news is finally out - Dwight Howard will be coming to India from the 10th-14th of August. NBA-India sent out a release today confirming this news. Howard will be participating in a series of events in Bangalore and Delhi to further the growth of basketball in India.

“The game of basketball has been so good to me and I am excited to go to India on behalf of the NBA,” said Howard. “Basketball is a global game and I love that the NBA is bringing the fun and excitement to fans around the world and introducing young athletes to the sport.”

By the way, in another interview earlier, the player known as 'D12' and 'Superman' had said that "I've always wanted to go because I'm in love with tigers!"

Among his activities in India, Howard will train with India’s Senior Men’s National Basketball Team; conduct coaching and player clinics for Mahindra NBA Challenge participants, the NBA’s first community league in India; launch NBA Jam, an interactive fan basketball event; and attend the launch of the first two NBA shops opening within adidas stores in Bangalore and Delhi.

The players of the Indian Men's National team, the Young Cagers, will have the chance to train with Dwight Howard and learn some moves from him on August 10-11 at the Sri Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore. This will help them prepare for the 16th Asian Games which takes place in China this November.

Howard will also make an appearance during the Mahindra-NBA Challenge in Bangalore, where he will meet participants and conduct basketball clinics for players and coaches on August 11th.

Howard will then come to New Delhi - on August 13th, he will be at the Ambience Mall in Gurgaon to launch the second consecutive NBA Jam, which is a traveling fan event in India that features interactive basketball activities. He will meet fans in Delhi and teach fundamental basketball skills to the youth.

“Dwight is extremely talented and charismatic and his presence at the Mahindra NBA Challenge and all the events will provide great inspiration to young basketball players in India,” said NBA President of International Heidi Ueberroth. “Bringing top players like Dwight to communities in India is an important part of the NBA’s overall efforts to teach the game of basketball and increase participation in the country.”

Howard was the overall No. 1 pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and he led his team to The Finals at the end of the 2008-09 season. He has won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award two seasons in a row and was a member of the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team that won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He earned the nickname “Superman” for his performance during the Sprite Slam Dunk contest at NBA All-Star 2008.

Stay tuned - Hoopistani is going to have a lot more material during this BIG visit.

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