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WNBA star Tamika Catchings at Dominic Savio School, Mumbai

– More Than 940,000 Youth from 1,000 Schools Have Participated in the RF Jr. NBA Program since launch in 2013 –

– NBA and Reliance Foundation Have Distributed 15,000 Basketballs and 300 Hoops –

MUMBAI, INDIA, Jan. 28, 2015 – WNBA Champion Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever and school children from across Mumbai today tipped off the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA Championship at the Dominic Savio School, Andheri (E).

The city championship marks the culmination of an eight-week program that took place in 185 schools across the city, including 100 MCGM schools.  Youth players across Mumbai have learned the game through in-school sessions, clinics, and competitions.  The city championship includes a  5-on-5 team competition featuring the top eight boys and girls teams from across the city; a 3-on-3 team competition featuring more than 450 teams; and the Finals of the Hot Shot individual shooting competition, which will see one boy and one girl crowned the best shooters in the city.

“It is great to see such enthusiasm for basketball among Indian youth,” said Catchings.  “The joint effort between Reliance Foundation and the NBA has provided students the opportunity to learn the game and the important life lessons that come with it.”

Catchings, a nine-time WNBA All-Star, five-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, WNBA Champion, WNBA MVP, and Finals MVP, was on hand to conduct a basketball clinic for the children.  Catchings also has the distinction of winning three consecutive Olympic gold medals with the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA initiative is a comprehensive youth basketball program, which uses the positive values of the sport to engage and impact the lives of Indian youth.  It focuses on inspiring youth to play and live a healthy, active lifestyle through basketball and teaches valuable life lessons such as teamwork, sacrifice, discipline, dedication and sportsmanship.

More than 940,000 youth in over 1,000 schools across eight cities have participated in the program since its launch in 2013.  In addition, more than 15,000 basketballs and 300 basketball rims have been distributed and installed through the program, and more than 1,000 PE teachers were trained across the country by international NBA-certified coaches.

Vishnu Ravi Shankar
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