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NBA all star Dwight Howard to visit India

BENGALURU/NEW DELHI, Aug. 4, 2010 – Four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Dwight Howard, of the Orlando Magic, will travel to India from Aug. 10 to 14 to participate in a series of basketball events in Bangalore and Delhi to further the growth of basketball and the NBA in the world’s second-largest nation.

Howard

Howard

Among his activities in India, Howard will train with India’s Senior Men’s National Basketball Team; conduct coaching and player clinics for Mahindra NBA Challenge participants, the NBA’s first community league in India; launch NBA Jam, an interactive fan basketball event; and attend the launch of the first two NBA shops opening within adidas stores in Bangalore and Delhi.

“The game of basketball has been so good to me and I am excited to go to India on behalf of the NBA,” said Howard.  “Basketball is a global game and I love that the NBA is bringing the fun and excitement to fans around the world and introducing young athletes to the sport.”

“Dwight is extremely talented and charismatic and his presence at the Mahindra NBA Challenge and all the events will provide great inspiration to young basketball players in India,” said NBA President of International Heidi Ueberroth. “Bringing top players like Dwight to communities in India is an important part of the NBA’s overall efforts to teach the game of basketball and increase participation in the country.”

The Mahindra NBA Challenge, the league’s first-ever community-based basketball league in India, launched in Mumbai, Bangalore and Ludhiana this summer and attracted thousands of participants including top players from each city.  On Aug. 11, Howard will make an appearance at the league in Bangalore where he will meet the participants and conduct basketball clinics for both the players and coaches.

Howard will train with India’s Senior Men’s National Basketball Team at the Sri Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore on Aug. 10 and 11 to help them prepare for the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) 16th Asian Games which takes place in China this November.

He will then travel to Delhi on Aug. 13 and 14 to launch the second consecutive NBA Jam, the league’s traveling fan event in India that features interactive basketball activities.  Howard will meet with fans and teach fundamental basketball skills to youth.

Howard will be on hand to launch the first-ever NBA shops to open within adidas stores in India. He will interact with fans and help introduce them to the most comprehensive assortment of NBA apparel and footwear in the country.  The shops will open on Brigade Road in Bangalore on Aug. 10 and in the Ambience Mall in Gurgaon on Aug. 14.

“As a Global Partner of the NBA, we are extremely excited to support initiatives that promote the growth of basketball in India and the opportunity to meet NBA All-Star Dwight Howard will inspire the next generation of basketball players,” said adidas India Director of Marketing and Sales Tushar Goculdas. “We are thrilled that Dwight will appear at the new NBA shops within adidas stores to help generate awareness for the large assortment of NBA merchandise available to fans.”

Howard was the overall No. 1 pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and he led his team to The Finals at the end of the 2008-09 season.  He has won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award two seasons in a row and was a member of the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team that won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He earned the nickname “Superman” for his performance during the Sprite Slam Dunk contest at NBA All-Star 2008.

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