The National Basketball Association has on Monday, April 30, announced that Los Angeles Lakers’ center Brook Lopez will visit India from May 2 to 6 to support the continued growth of basketball in the country.
Lopez will first stop in Delhi NCR on May 2, where he will attend the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA National Finals at The NBA Academy India to interact with the boys and girls competing for the opportunity to represent India in the first Jr. NBA World Championship later this year in the US. Lopez will also attend the ACG-NBA Jump Finals at The NBA Academy India on May 4 to help identify the top prospects who will receive scholarships and training to attend the NBA’s elite basketball training center. On May 5, Lopez will travel to Mumbai for a live television appearance on Sony Six’s NBA wraparound show “Around the Hoop” to serve as a guest analyst to provide his insights on the 2018 NBA Playoffs.
“My brother Robin (Lopez of the Chicago Bulls) was in India not long ago and had an unforgettable experience,” said Lopez. “There’s so much positive momentum around basketball in India and I’m glad to play a part in the growth of the game.”
Lopez, a 7’0” centre from Stanford University, was selected 10th overall by the New Jersey Nets in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Since its launch in 2013, The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program has reached more than six million youth and trained more than 5,000 physical education instructors nationwide. The program is part of the NBA’s existing basketball and youth development initiatives in India. In April 2017, the NBA launched NBA Basketball School, a network of tuition-based basketball development programs around the world open to male and female players ages 6-18 from outside the U.S. The first NBA Basketball Schools launched in New Delhi and Mumbai as part of a multiyear agreement with India On Track (IOT), one of India’s leading sports management, marketing and development companies. The NBA Academy India, an elite basketball training center in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) for the top male and female prospects from throughout India and the first of its kind in the country, officially opened in May 2017. NBA Champion Kevin Durant became the first active NBA player to visit the academy in July 2017.
Since 2006, more than 30 active and retired NBA and WNBA players have visited India with the NBA, including Kevin Durant, Sim Bhullar, Kenneth Faried, Bruce Bowen, Muggsy Bogues, Chris Bosh, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Seth Curry, Pau Gasol, Robert Horry, Dwight Howard, Robin Lopez and Jason Richardson.