U.S. Department of State, National Basketball Association Announce International Basketball Exchange with India

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 16, 2012

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today a basketball Sports Visitor exchange will take place February 17-27, 2012, with 14 Indian basketball coaches traveling to the U.S. for a 10-day people-to-people exchange.

The Sports Visitor program will begin in Washington, D.C. where the delegation will meet with U.S. basketball coaches, work with young American athletes, participate in a basketball clinic with Special Olympics athletes, and engage in activities focused on teambuilding and injury prevention. For the final days of their program, the delegation will travel to Orlando, Florida to attend NBA coaching clinics and sessions surrounding NBA All-Star 2012.

This Sports Visitor program marks SportsUnited’s second basketball exchange with India. In February 2011, NBA Hall-of-Famer George Gervin and six-time WNBA All-Star Katie Smith traveled to India as part of the U.S. Department of State’s sports diplomacy program.

In partnership with the Department of State, 42 NBA and WNBA players and coaches have visited 20 different countries since 2004, where they have conducted basketball clinics for thousands of young boys, girls and coaches.

SportsUnited is the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ sports exchange program at the U.S. Department of State. Athletes and coaches from a range of sports are chosen to conduct clinics, visit schools, and engage with youth overseas in a dialogue on the importance of an education, positive health practices, and respect for diversity. Since 2003, SportsUnited has brought almost 900 athletes from 59 countries to the U.S. to participate in Sport Visitor programs. Since 2005, SportsUnited has sent over 200 U.S. athletes to more than 50 countries to participate in Sport Envoy programs.

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