Stern Visits India As NBA Shows Initiative To Help Country's Impoverished Children
NBA Commissioner David Stern was in India this week to "announce an initiative to help such impoverished children in India via the NBA Cares programme in association with Multi Screen Media and Magic Bus," according to the MUMBAI MIRROR. Magic Bus CEO Matthew Spacie said, "Picture yourself in this very, very poor slum or this incredibly poor village in India. Now if I throw up a basketball in the air, every child in that community will come towards that basketball and pick it up to play. Kids love to play. We thought if kids love to play, what activities can we do to use it like a classroom. To have fun, turn up every week and learn. We use these activities to change their behavior for the better." Stern believes that "apart from being used as a social motivator, basketball can also provide a career opportunity" for India’s youth. Stern: "If we get our grassroot programs going bigger and kids across this country start bouncing the ball rather than kicking it or hitting it with a strange paddle, there will be an enormous influx of very good and talented athletes into our game." NBA India Dir of Basketball Operations Troy Justice is "also very optimistic about this initiative." Justice: "I’m hands on involved (with this project). When this clinic happens I’m on the ground sweating with them. We’re going to do 12 clinics with different communities this year and I’m going to be at all of them" (MUMBAI MIRROR, 4/9).