April 25, 2019

Former NBA champ Harrison Barnes to visit India next week

Harrison Barnes probably didn't think that his summer would unfold this way. The former NBA champ (with the Golden State Warriors) started the 2018-19 season with the Dallas Mavericks, but was traded before the deadline in February to another rebuilding squad, the Sacramento Kings. And, less than two months into his stint with Sacramento, Barnes is not a representative for the Kings in the opposite end of the globe, carrying the team's flag to India in anticipation for the biggest offseason yet in Indian NBA history.

In October this year, the NBA will hold two preseason games in India - between the Kings and Indiana Pacers - for the first time in history. Barnes, a smooth-scoring forward and the newest member of the Kings, will be visiting India to promote the continuing growth of basketball in the country and the upcoming NBA India Games 2019 from April 28 - May 3, 2019, announced the NBA.

Barnes will first stop in Delhi NCR on April 28 to attend the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA National Finals at The NBA Academy India. He will then travel to Mumbai for live television appearances on Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 3's NBA wraparound shows on April 30, before returning to Delhi on May 3 to attend the National Finals of the fourth ACG-NBA Jump, India's national basketball talent search programme.

"This trip to India will be a great opportunity for me to get a sneak peek of the local culture before the upcoming preseason games in Mumbai this October," said Barnes. "I look forward to being a part of that historic event, and I'm excited to help support the NBA's various basketball development initiatives in India."

A 6-8 forward, Barnes was drafted into the NBA 7th overall in 2012 by the Golden State Warriors, where he grew into a solid foundation piece as the team - led by Stephen Curry, Klay Thomspson, and Draymond Green - developed into a championship contender. He was in the Warriors starting lineup as the team won the 2015 NBA title and remained an integral part of the team that won a record 73 games in the 2015-16 regular season, only to lose in the Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers. To make room for their historic acquisition of Kevin Durant in 2016, the Warriors let Barnes go to the Dallas Mavericks. He played two-and-a-half years in Dallas before being traded to Sacramento in exchange for Zach Randolph and Justin Jackson.

In 28 appearances with the Kings, Barnes averaged 14.3 points and 5.5 rpg. The 26-year-old will serve a veterans role for the Kings squad that will visit India, who are boosted by exciting young players like De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovich, and Marvin Bagley.

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