Mumbai: Two-time National Basketball
Association (NBA) champion Pau Gasol, member of two-time
defending champions Los Angeles Lakers and a three-time
All-Star, is to visit Mumbai and Delhi from August 23 to 28.
During his visit, the first time a reigning NBA
champion is touring the country to conduct events on NBA`s
behalf, Gasol would make appearances with the Larry O’Brien
Trophy and take photos with fans in the two cities, a media
The NBA star would conduct clinics in Mumbai on August
26 for participants of the Mahindra NBA Challenge, the
league`s first community-based basketball league in India, and
in Delhi on August 28 at Father Angel School in Gautam Nagar,
a missionary school that serves underprivileged communities.
Gasol, the second NBA star to visit India this month
following Orlando Magic centre Dwight Howard`s visit to
Bangalore and Delhi earlier this month, said he had always
wanted to visit the country where interest in the hoop game is
"I have always wanted to visit India and I am very
excited to represent the Lakers and the NBA in a country where
basketball is on the rise," he said.
"As an international player in the NBA, I know how
important it is to do my part to grow the game globally and
would love to compete against a player from India in the NBA
one day," he added.
NBA`s international president Heidi Ueberroth felt the
visits by the League`s superstars would inspire more people in
the country to take up the game.
"Giving youth in India the unique chance to step onto a
court and learn from a reigning two-time NBA champion will
inspire more athletes to play the game of basketball,” said
"Pau is a great ambassador for the NBA and his visit is
part of our continued efforts to work with our partners to
increase participation in communities throughout India," she
Basketball Federation of India secretary general Harish
Sharma saw the forthcoming visit by the NBA super stars to
India as a step in popularising the game further.
"Our collaboration with the NBA has generated a
tremendous amount of interest for the sport in India,
including the recent visit of All-Star Dwight Howard, and the
arrival of NBA world champion Pau Gasol will help popularise
the game even further," he said.