The NBA has expanded its reach in Asia. On May 9 the league proudly opened its first academy in India. The training center is located at the Jaypee Greens Integrated Sports Complex. NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum attended the opening.
Tatum had this to say at the event:
“India is a country with nearly 1.3 billion people, And for us it has the potential to be the next China for the NBA. There are some elite prospects here who we think have an opportunity. One of the reasons why it is so important is that we are going to give them exposure to world class NBA-type coaching and training and development to make sure they are given the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
The league already has a big following in China and has had several big events and programs in basketball-loving Philippines but this marks another major landmark in their exposure in Asia, which has long been considered the next big frontier for the NBA.
There is big potential in India. So far, Canadian-born Sim Bhullar (photo above) has been the first player of Indian descent to be drafted into the NBA. But more and more young, talented players from India have been catching the eye of scouts from the league. The potential in this country will not likely stay untapped for much longer.