NBA in Singapore, I read the news this morning about the partnership of Singapore Sports Council (SSC) and National Basketball Association (NBA). Basketball fans will surely enjoy watching exhibition games between two NBA teams.
NBA magic on the way
by Low Fin Fhoong
SINGAPORE – Basketball fans in China and Taiwan tasted NBA magic last year when the Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers entertained crowds in two exhibition matches in the cities of Beijing and Taipei.
The hoopla could soon make its way to the Republic’s basketball courts, after the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) unveiled a landmark partnership with the NBA yesterday.
“We are thrilled to partner with the NBA to bring one of the world’s most recognised sports brands to Singapore’s shores,” said SSC chief executive officer Oon Jin Teik.
“Not only will our budding players have opportunities to rub shoulders with world famous athletes, they will also improve their game and be inspired to reach for their dreams.
“There will be training opportunities, workshops and clinics conducted by NBA players as well as community outreach programmes.”
Local basketball fans clamouring to see the likes of NBA superstars Kobe Bryant – who visited Singapore last July as part of his Kobe Asia Tour 2009 – LeBron James and towering Chinese centre Yao Ming could be set for a treat.
Speaking to MediaCorp yesterday, Scott Levy, senior vice-president and managing director of NBA Asia, said: “Singapore has become more of a destination for sport … The NBA has many different programmes that we adopt all over the world … Some are in basketball, or fitness, we have lifestyle events and also marquee events like in China and Taiwan where two NBA teams played games there.
“All these elements are part of our conversations with the SSC.”
The partnership will see both organisations developing programmes, clinics, and competitions for local youths, tipping off with Basketball without Borders – the NBA and International Basketball Federation’s (Fiba) global basketball project aimed at creating positive change in education, health and wellness – which will be held here from June 28 to July 1.
Houston Rockets star Yao Ming, Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard and Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks were part of the 2009 programme, which travelled to Beijing, Mexico City and Johannesburg.
The Republic will be the only Asian stop for this year’s camp and will feature NBA players and coaches interacting with the top 60 young cagers from across the continent over the four-day period.
Youngsters will be picked by the NBA, Fiba and participating federations, including the Basketball Association of Singapore.
Coaches from the world’s top professional league will also work with Singapore’s Youth Olympic Games coaches to raise the level of coaching here.
The league’s global social responsibility project, NBA Cares, will also focus on basketball development in the community, and youth fitness.