Press Release, Mumbai, June 12, 2014: The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced that three promising young talents from the Indian Men’s National Basketball Team, Vishal Gupta (Uttar Pradesh), Ashish Briggs (Madhya Pradesh) and Mahipal Singh (Rajasthan), will represent India at Basketball without Borders (BWB), to be held in Taipei for the first time ever from June 13 -16. BWB is the NBA and the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) global basketball development and community outreach program that unites young basketball players to promote the sport and encourage positive social change in the areas of education, health and wellness. BWB has reached 2,100 campers from more than 120 countries, with 29 BWB campers drafted into the NBA.
BWB Asia 2014 will bring together the top 50 players born in 1996 or 1997 from more than 20 Asian and Oceanic countries. The 2014 Basketball without Borders schedule also includes a recently completed camp in Rome, Italy and a return to Johannesburg, South Africa from August 5 – 8.
The top 50 youth players from across Asia will learn from current NBA players and coaches, including Nicolas Batum (Portland Trail Blazers), John Salmons (Toronto Raptors), Ronny Turiaf (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Cody Zeller (Charlotte Bobcats). Eight-time NBA All-Star Yao Ming will make a one-day appearance.
The three young Indian players are looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Vishal Gupta said, “Training at the BWB camp will make a lot of difference in my style of play, and it will be an unparalleled experience to interact with NBA legend Yao Ming and the other stars making their way to the camp.”
Ashish Briggs said, “Hailing from a small town like Ujjain, one can only dream of visiting such international camps and learning the technical aspects of the game from the best players in the world. I can’t wait to be there and learn as much I can in those four days.”
Mahipal Singh said, “I would like to thank the Basketball Federation of India and the NBA for giving me this opportunity to train alongside players whom I have idolized since I began playing. Basketball without Borders is a great platform for players like me to learn from the best and elevate our game.”
Past BWB campers from India include:
- From BWB Asia 2005: Jagdeep Singh, Talwinderjit Singh and Yadwinder Singh
- From BWB Asia 2006: Aditya Biswas, Kaushal Ravi Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Dhillon
- From BWB Asia 2007: Dilawar Singh, Sharwan Kumar and Sunil Kumar Rathee Rathee
- From BWB Asia 2008 (held in New Delhi): Arjun Singh, Hirender Singh Rathore, Pratham Singh, Shadab Khan and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi
- From BWB Asia 2009: Dishant Vipul Shah, Kiran Singh and Rikin Shantilal Pethani
- From BWB Asia 2010: Satnam Singh Bharama and Sunny Raut
- From BWB Asia 2012: Amit Kanarjee and Palpreet Singh Brar
Through NBA Cares, the league’s global social responsibility program, all three camps will include extensive community outreach efforts led by NBA players and coaches. Through grassroots basketball development, community service, and life skill seminars, BWB will focus on teaching the values of the game, including leadership, respect, character and health and wellness. In addition, donations of school supplies, clothing, books, games, basketball equipment and other necessities will be made to local community-based organizations.
Nike, a BWB global partner since 2002, will again outfit the campers and coaches of all three camps with Nike apparel and footwear.
Since its inception, the NBA and FIBA have staged 36 BWB camps in 20 cities across 18 countries on five continents. More than 150 different current and former NBA/WNBA players have joined nearly 140 NBA team personnel from all 30 NBA teams.