Two-time NBA champion Ray Allen meets Mumbai Indians players during his India visit

Mumbai, May 12 (IANS) Two time NBA champion and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Ray Allen on Friday met Mumbai Indians players ahead of their IPL 2023 match against Gujarat Titans, during his India tour.

As per National Basketball Association (NBA) Allen is visiting India from May 12 to May 16 as part of the league’s continued efforts to grow the

game of basketball in the country.

Watching a live T20 cricket match and making a guest appearance on JioCinema’s cricket show was part of Allen’s plan.

“A collab for the ages! The @mipaltan welcomed special guest Ray Allen ahead of their match today,” said NBA India in a tweet.

On May 15, Allen will visit NBA Academy India, an elite basketball training center which was supported in prior years by ACG for the top prospects from throughout India and the first of its kind in the country, in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR), where he will lead a basketball clinic for 50 students from the NBA Basketball School programs in India and train with NBA Academy India prospects.

“I’m excited to make this trip to India to experience the country’s local sporting culture,” Allen was quoted as saying in a media release.

“The NBA has contributed so much to the growth of basketball in India, and I look forward to playing a part in their continued efforts to grow the game,” he added.

A 6’5″ shooting guard, Allen was drafted No. 5 overall in the 1996 NBA Draft and went on to win two NBA championships during his 18-year career, with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and with the Miami Heat in 2012.

The 10-time NBA All-Star retired as the all-time leader in three-point field goals before the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry surpassed his record in 2021.

Allen was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018 and was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team prior to the 2021-22 season.

NBA Basketball School and NBA Academy India are part of the NBA’s broader basketball development initiatives in India that provide a predictable pathway for players to learn the game and maximize their potential.

NBA Basketball School, a network of tuition-based basketball development programs open to male and female players from outside the U.S. ages 6 to 18, launched

in India in 2017.

There are currently 40 NBA Basketball School programs across 27 locations in eight cities in India. NBA Academy India, which opened in 2017, has seen 20 male and female participants commit to NCAA Division I schools and junior colleges in the U.S. or sign professional contracts.

Since 2006, more than 35 current and former NBA and WNBA players have visited India with the NBA, including Harrison Barnes, Muggsy Bogues, Chris Bosh, Bruce Bowen, Corey Brewer, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Seth Curry, Kevin Durant, Pau Gasol, Robert Horry, Dwight Howard, Briann January, Caris LeVert, Robin Lopez, Brook Lopez, Kevin Martin, Andre Miller, Kelly Olynyk, Dwight Powell, Jason Richardson and Brian Shaw.

–IANS

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