– Program Expanding to 14 Cities Across India in its Third Year –
MUMBAI – Reliance Foundation and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced on 28 September 2015 that the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program, a comprehensive youth basketball initiative that applies the values of basketball to positively impact the lives of Indian boys and girls, expects to engage more than 1.5 million boys and girls and 2,700 physical education instructors and coaches in 2015-16. The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program focuses on inspiring youth to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle by integrating basketball into the physical education curriculum of each of the 2,200 participating schools.
Returning for the third consecutive year, the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program will nearly double its number of participating cities, expanding from eight to 14. The program will take place in Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Chennai, Delhi, Kochi, Kottayam, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Lucknow and Hyderabad and will run from September 2015 to March 2016.
“We are delighted that the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program is expanding to more cities and reaching more children,” said Reliance Foundation Spokesperson. “This program has used the sport of basketball to greatly impact the lives of Indian children. We are grateful to the NBA for sharing their world-class expertise and resources, and to the schools, coaches and physical education instructors who continue to support this initiative.”
“The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program continues our goal of providing Indian youth with a platform to stay active and learn the values of basketball, including leadership, teamwork, and healthy living,” said NBA India Vice President & Managing Director Yannick Colaco. “On the heels of Sim Bhullar becoming the first player of Indian descent to play in the NBA and Satnam Singh becoming the first Indian-born player to be drafted into the NBA, children in India are as excited as ever about trying the game, and the growth of our program will ensure we get basketballs in the hands of even more boys and girls across the country.”
The program, which remains free for participants, will include a trainer initiative for local coaches, in-school basketball clinics, elite training camps and finals in each city featuring 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 competitions. NBA International Basketball Operations staff will be based in each of the cities for three months to oversee the program. Each participating school will receive essential equipment to encourage and facilitate participation among its students, including an India-specific coaching guide with curricula for in-school and after-school programs, basketballs, cones, and a Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA poster. In addition, each participating city will host three “Mini Hoops Weekends” featuring fun basketball activities for children ages 6-10.
More than 1 million youth in over 1,000 schools across nine 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 NBA International Basketball Operations staff has trained more than 2,000 physical education teachers across the country.
NBA Legends Bruce Bowen and Muggsy Bogues, WNBA All-Stars Tamika Catchings and Swin Cash, and Sim Bhullar, the first player of Indian descent to play in the NBA, have all travelled to India to support and participate in the program.
Prospective participants, including children, parents, coaches and schools, can visitrf.jrnba.com for program information, including training resources and tips on staying fit.
About Reliance Foundation:
Reliance Foundation (RF) aims to play a catalytic role in addressing the nation’s development challenges through innovative and sustainable solutions with its focus in the areas of Rural Transformation, Education, Health, Sports for Development, Disaster Response, Urban Renewal, and Promotion and protection of India’s Arts, Culture and Heritage. Smt. Nita M. Ambani is the Chairperson of Reliance Foundation and the guiding spirit behind the Foundation’s ambitious vision of becoming the leading vehicle for social development, empowering the underprivileged and infusing social transformation in India. Reliance Foundation reaches out to over 5,500 villages and various urban locations across India.
About the NBA:
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League. The league has established a major international presence with offices in 13 markets worldwide, games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages, and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2014-15 season featured a record 101 international players from 37 countries and territories. NBA Digital’s assets include NBA.comand NBA Mobile, which achieved record traffic during the 2014-15 season, as well as NBA TV. The NBA is the No. 1 professional sports league on social media, with more than 850 million likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league and its teams and players have donated more than $260 million to charity, completed more than 3.3 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 970 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play.