Dikembe Mutombo to lead court dedications in India

NEW YORK, MUMBAI, India and CHENNAI – The National Basketball Association announced today that newly appointed NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutumbo is in India this week to unveil two newly refurbished basketball courts in Mumbai and to break ground on a court in Chennai.  Created in conjunction with the Basketball Federation of India (BFI), HP, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), these projects are part of the NBA’s long-term commitment to grow basketball participation and promote healthy, active lifestyles through NBA Cares, the league’s social responsibility initiative.

“Social responsibility is core to the NBA’s mission and is an important component in the league’s growth in India,” said NBA International President Heidi Ueberroth.  “The NBA seeks to promote education and healthy, active lifestyles through NBA Cares.  We are pleased to partner with BFI, HP, and TCS to provide these refurbished courts and new e-learning resources in Mumbai and Chennai.”

Two courts and an e-learning center will be unveiled on Dec. 9 at St. Dominic Savio High School and Boys Home in Mumbai.  More than 1,500 children will benefit from the resurfaced courts and new basketball equipment.  HP, TCS, and the NBA have provided St. Dominic Savio with resources to create a new e-learning center, which will be outfitted with networking and HP computers to provide the faculty new tools to improve teaching methods for its students.

The new courts in Mumbai will also host the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Hoop School Tournament of Mumbai on Dec. 12 and 13, featuring 25 local schools that were part of the program, which launched in November 2008.

On Dec. 11, a ground-breaking ceremony will be held at the YMCA College of Physical Education in Chennai. The new court and equipment will greatly enhance the training of the nearly 450 students studying to be physical education teachers at the YMCA.  In addition, the computer lab at the school will be outfitted with networking and HP computers to provide the students the means to take their education beyond the classroom.

“There is great enthusiasm for basketball in India,” said BFI Secretary General Harish Sharma.  “The refurbished courts will provide children a better place to play and practice their skills.  Along with the NBA, we look forward to refurbishing more courts for children to play on.”

Clinics for the students and local youth lead by Mutombo will highlight both events. Additionally, Mutumbo will stay in Chennai to run a coaching clinic at the YMCA on Dec. 12 and 13. The new courts and clinics are part of the NBA and BFI’s ongoing partnership to grow basketball in India and will help to teach basketball fundamentals and speed player and coach development.  Since 2008, the NBA has held a variety of events in India, including Basketball without Borders, the inaugural Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Hoops School, a court dedication at Nagpada House in Mumbai, and an NBA Jam mall tour.  A number of NBA players and legends, including Baron Davis, Robert Parish, and Dominique Wilkins, have run clinics for local youth and coaches as well.

About NBA Cares

NBA Cares is the league’s social responsibility initiative that builds on the NBA’s long tradition of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world.  Through this umbrella program, the NBA, its teams and players have donated more than $115 million to charity, provided more than one million hours of  hands-on service to communities around the world, and created more than 440 places where kids and families can live, learn or play.  NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: KaBOOM!, Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.