Kochi: Mahindra NBA Challenge, the largest, multi-city, community-based basketball league in India, is tipping off in Kochi for the first time from July 21.
According to press release, the Kochi league will feature 120 teams and games will be played at Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium. The programme has already been held in Mumbai and Delhi and following the Kochi stop, will be held in Bangalore and Ludhiana.
Conducted in collaboration with the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and the Kerala Basketball Association, the programme will run for seven weeks culminating on Sept 2.
This year the Mahindra NBA Challenge will feature a new player development programme in each city called Generation Adidas, a press release here said.
Forty talented players from the boys and girls U-13 and U-16 categories will be selected to participate in two exclusive Generation Adidas clinics during the season in Kochi on Aug 17 and 30.
The top eight players will be selected from the clinics and will receive one year of specialized training and adidas basketball gear.
This marks the NBA`s first programme in Kochi, showcasing the league`s commitment to growing basketball across the country.
The five-city league features eight divisions for men and women -- sub-junior for ages 12 to 13, youth for ages 14 to16, junior for ages 16 to 18 and adults ages 19 and over.
For the first time, the Mahindra NBA Challenge will feature a National Championship which will take place in Delhi from October 4-7 this year. The winning teams from the Senior and Under 18 divisions, for both Men and Women, in each city will travel to Delhi to compete in the championship and train with an NBA legend.
The programme has rapidly expanded since its introduction in 2009 with the number of teams participating doubling in season two. It has helped to identify and develop top basketball talents, with the Indian Nnational team extending training camp invites to 20 male and women players that participated in the Mahindra NBA Challenge.