The Reliance Foundation’s Jr. NBA program, initiated last year, has reached 7.5 lakhsyoungsters across 1,000 schools in India. This program is aimed to transform the landscape of basketball in India.
The Jr.NBA program
The Jr. NBA program runs across the globe to give basketball training to students and teachers of various schools. It is a comprehensive school-based youth program. It follows a pattern of three-phase player development. It trains students of classes 4-10 through weekly elite training camps. A boy and a girl from each school and each group (under 10, under 13 and under 16) are selected on the basis of their progress. 80 students in each city then attend regional elite camps and later 120 youngsters from the country are selected for the national elite camp.
The ‘Train the Trainer’ program under this, offers basketball training to coaches and P.E. teachers.Participating schools get basketball equipments like basketballs, whistles, coaching guides, nets, air pumps, etc.
In India, it was launched in 2013 in 3 cities and later expanded to 8 cities with the support of Reliance Foundation. The Foundation envisions the sport to become a means to promote health and fitness and inculcate strong values like discipline, teamwork, focus and sportsmanshipin youth.
The Jr. NBA program has witnessed remarkable progress in its very first year. NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver,expressed his delight and thanked Reliance Foundation for its support. Hesaid, “Our goal is to give the children of India, the opportunity to play, learn and enjoy the game of basketball.”The Jr.NBA program aims to train 1 million youth and 2,000 coaches of India by 2016.
The Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, Nita M. Ambani,also expressed her joy over the success of this program. She said, “Reliance Foundation has always dedicated itself in developing various sports at the grassroots level. Through Jr. NBA program, we want to give the students an opportunity to grow and explore the fun and skills of basketball.”
The owner of the NBA team, Sacramento King, VivekRanadive also shared his views on the program by saying, “Looking at the progress of the Jr. NBA program, it is certain that an Indian boy or girl will soon play in NBA or WNBA respectively.”