Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, who was part of the Golden State Warriors' 2015 title-winning side, will visit India on Sunday, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced on Wednesday.
Barnes' visit comes ahead of the NBA India Games 2019 in October this year, where the Kings will face the Indiana Pacers in two games " on 4 and 5 October.
The two games, to be played at Mumbai's NSCI Dome, will witness the first time teams from NBA have played in India and the first games staged in the country by a North American sports league. Fans can visit nbaevents.com/indiagames to register interest for information and tickets.
Barnes, a 6'8" forward, will first stop in Delhi NCR on 28 April to attend the Reliance Foundation Jr NBA National Finals at The NBA Academy India. Barnes will then travel to Mumbai for live television appearances on NBA wraparound shows on 30 April, before returning to Delhi on 3 May to attend the National Finals of the fourth ACG-NBA Jump, India's national basketball talent search program.
"This trip to India will be a great opportunity for me to get a sneak peek of the local culture before the upcoming preseason games in Mumbai this October," said Barnes. "I look forward to being a part of that historic event, and I'm excited to help support the NBA's various basketball development initiatives in India."
Now in its sixth year, the 2018-19 Reliance Foundation Jr NBA program has engaged more than 6.3 million youth in 34 cities nationwide. The program " the largest in its six-year history " focuses on inspiring youth to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle by integrating basketball into the physical education curriculum of the 7,900 participating schools.
ACG, the official partner of The NBA Academy India, will provide 50 players from around the country with the opportunity to be selected into the NBA's elite basketball training center. At the end of the camp, the top prospects from the ACG-NBA Jump National Finals will be identified to receive scholarships and training at The NBA Academy India.