Bangalore leg of NBA gala kicks off from today

Tournament to feature 85 teams with over 1000 players

Bangalore leg of NBA gala kicks off from today

NBA Director of International Development Akash Jain, Director of Operations in India Troy Justice, Karnataka State Basketball Association president K Govindaraj and former NBA power-forward Marty Conlon address the media on Friday. DH photo

The annual event, aimed to strengthen the sport’s base and popularise it, comprises coaching clinics for players and coaches besides a tournament conducted during weekends.

The players’ clinic will be held on the first two days (July 17 and 18) while the tournament proper starts on July 24 and goes on till the first week of September.

A total of 85 teams, featuring more than 1000 players, will ply their trade in the 8-category event -- four main categories (men, women, boys and girls) and four sub-categories (schools, colleges, clubs and unregistered)-- which is set to highlight talent in the State.

The Karnataka State Basketball Association has allowed 14 non-affiliated teams and 47 un-registered players to take part in the tournament, keen as they are to promote the event. “We have no objection to un-registered teams and players taking part in the tournament,” Basketball Federation of India vice-president and Karnataka State Basketball Association president K Govindaraj said at a press conference here on Friday.

Govindaraj was joined by NBA’s Director of Operations in India Troy Justice, Director of International Development Akash Jain and former Milwaukee Bucks power-forward Marty Conlon.

“We want everyone to play basketball and we can’t stop them from doing that. We can register them the next season,” added Govindraj. 

Based on NBA’s popular play-off format, the teams will battle it out in the group stages and the top teams (decided by points) will qualify to the semifinal stage and then the final. All-Star teams will also be chosen during the course of the tournament, which will have a shooting competition and the crowd-drawing slam-dunk competition.

Conlon will be in charge of the coaching clinics and will train the men’s senior State team in the weeks to come.

“This is my second visit to Bangalore and I love the city,” said Conlon.  “I have coached here before and there has been a good response to my technique. Hopefully this time around too it will all work out well,” he added.

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