NBA India youth initiative to be its biggest yet

Returning to India for the fifth consecutive year, the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA programme will run through March 2018 and expects to engage more than 4.5 million youth and 4,500 physical education instructors and coaches in 34 cities nationwide.

The programme, which remains free for all participants, includes individual skills competitions; a timed circuit-based challenge incorporating dribbling, passing and shooting; and 5-on-5 competitions.   -  AP

The NBA on Thursday announced the return of the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA programme, a youth basketball initiative that applies the values of basketball to positively impact the lives of Indian boys and girls.

Returning to India for the fifth consecutive year, the expanded programme runs through March 2018 and expects to engage more than 4.5 million youth and 4,500 physical education instructors and coaches in 34 cities nationwide. The programme – the largest in its five-year history – focuses on inspiring youth to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle by integrating basketball into the physical education curriculum of the 4,500 participating schools.

“We are thrilled to enhance the presence of basketball in more cities and develop life skills amongst youth through our partnership with the NBA,” said a Reliance Foundation spokesperson. “The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program is in line with our goal of enabling children to develop holistically through sports.”

The programme, which remains free for all participants, includes individual skills competitions; a timed circuit-based challenge incorporating dribbling, passing and shooting; and 5-on-5 competitions. The top performers from each in-school skills competition will qualify to attend the citywide skills challenge, and the finalists from each citywide skills challenge will compete at the City Finals in 2018. The Jr. NBA Coaches Academy will train local coaches from partner schools.

The Jr. NBA, the league’s global youth basketball program for boys and girls, teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents. During the 2016-17 season, the NBA reached more than 18 million youth in 53 countries through its youth participation initiatives.

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