The National Basketball Federation (NBA)- India announced that the first-ever NBA game will be held in India on 4th and 5th October, 2019. This will feature NBA sides Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers who will play two pre-season at the Dome, NSCI, SVP Stadium in Mumbai.
As part of Reliance Foundation’s Education and Sports For All (ESA) initiative, NBA has invited 3000 boys and girls from more than 70 participating junior NBA schools in Mumbai. “We are proud to provide young Indian boys and girls under the Reliance Foundation Jr NBA program with the opportunity to experience the first-ever NBA game in India,” NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer, Mark Tatum said in a media release.
In addition to the games, the league and its partners will host interactive fan activities, junior NBA events, an NBA Academy India development camp for women and NBA Cares community outreach efforts benefiting fans of all ages across Mumbai.
The Sacramento Kings currently features 2018 No. 2 overall draft pick Marvin Bagley III, 2017 No. 5 overall draft pick De’Aaron Fox and 2016 No. 6 overall draft pick Buddy Hield (Bahamas). “The Sacramento Kings are proud to be playing in the first NBA games ever held in India. As an Indian-American, it is an honour to help bring this historic moment to the country where I was raised. The sport is experiencing tremendous growth in India and we are excited about continuing to expand the NBA’s reach to fans across the globe. The world wants to watch Basketball and India is a fast-growing new frontier,” said Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé.
The Pacers’ roster currently features 2018 NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo, 2016 NBA All-Rookie second team member Myles Turner and 2016 No. 11 overall draft pick Domantas Sabonis (Lithuania). Indiana Pacers Owner Herbert Simon added, “We are thrilled to be one of the first two teams to play the first-ever game in India and proud to be part of the expanding NBA worldwide footprint of our game of basketball.”
The games will air live in India, and will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories on television, digital and social media.