Troy Justice is a seasoned veteran of basketball operations in India on behalf of the NBA. With the NBA bringing in the NBA Jam in four cities in India this month, they are looking to cover new ground by taking the sport to the colleges across India and by introducing a women’s category too. The Senior Director of Basketball Operations of NBA India took some time in between organizing the NBA Jam to talk about this unique concept.
What is the NBA looking to accomplish with the NBA Jam and how is it different from the NBA 3X held last year?
“The NBA Jam is a part of our ongoing initiative to popularize basketball in India. This is different from the NBA 3X which we did last year in India, the NBA Jam is about more than just the competition. We’ve partnered with Sony SIX to bring something bigger and better. This is a complete basketball experience. There are a lot of fun competitions for fans to participate in. One of the new events, which is attracting a lot of crowds, is the Adidas Hoopstar 3 point contest. Plus there is also the element of music. We have a variety of artists performing, hip hop, rock and roll, etc. There’s something for everyone.”
This is the first time the NBA has introduced a separate category for girls in its 3 on 3 competition.
“This time we have introduced a separate category for girls. Basketball is a sport which can easily be played by both men and women and we’re looking to promote it equally.”
Why 3 on 3 over regular 5 on 5 basketball?
“We’re always trying to bring something new and fresh. From a basketball perspective we love 3 on 3 because it provides an opportunity for many players to participate and develop their skills. It is a great form of recreation through basketball. You can just head out with a few friends and have a game of 3 on 3 basketball. The format is gaining in popularity across India.”
What kind of portable court surface are you using for the competition?
“The court surface we are laying down is a FIBA standard quality product which is used throughout the world. Using the Sport Court material, we can set up courts anywhere. It doesn’t have a large footprint and gives us a lot of flexibility.”
This is the first time the NBA is conducting an inter-college competition in India.
“NBA Jam provides a great platform for an inter-collegiate basketball competition and showcases many talented players in India. It has been great to see students of the respective institutions coming to cheer for their respective college/university team.”
The NBA Jam now moves on to Mumbai from Delhi, (Sept 26-28) at St. Stanislaus High School where the Mumbai leg of the competition will be followed by the National Finals in which the winning teams from all four cities will fight to emerge as the winner and get a chance to play with some NBA legends.
Colleges interested in participation may call 09594991125 or visit their official websites: NBA India or NBA Jam.
Watch this space for regular updates.