NBA superstar Kevin Durant will be visiting India later this year, aiming to support Indian basketball and see the Taj Mahal, which has been on his bucket list.
Durant is currently in New Orleans for the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend where he will make his eighth successive appearance at the 66th NBA All-Star Game on February 19.
Durant’s visit to India is in keeping up with the NBA’s efforts to grow the game of basketball in the country. Durant will be visiting NBA Academy India, the elite basketball training centre in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR), which was announced late last year, according to a statement in a press release.
The NBA also recently announced the first batch of players selected in the NBA Academy India.
Speaking on his visit, Durant said, “I will be the first NBA player going to the Academy. I’m super excited about it, to grow the game of basketball to a new level. I’m so excited about the grassroots programme. I’m looking forward to it. It should be a great time.”
The NBA superstar also had some encouraging words for the 24 players selected to the NBA Academy India.
“I think it is just the fundamentals of dribbling, shooting, passing that you know and that crossovers no matter where you are as a basketball player. So when you get those fundamentals of the game right, that’s where you start at,” Durant said.
Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors as a free agent in the 2016 off-season after playing nine seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder. As a member of that franchise, Durant was named the 2007-08 Rookie of the Year, clinched four scoring titles, made it to six All-NBA teams, joined the 50-40-90 club in 2012-2013 and was named the MVP of the league for the 2013-14 season.
Currently, Durant is averaging 25.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists through 56 games. Durant’s season-high 40 points also came against his former team, the Thunder, in a 121-100 blowout win at the Oracle Arena on January 18th. With Durant in such brilliant form, the Warriors are sitting pretty with a league-best 47-9 regular season record at the All-Star break.
Durant has also expressed his desire to visit the Taj Mahal.
“Seeing the Taj Mahal has been on my bucket list for a while,” he said.
Having such a big global superstar promoting the game is a big boost to basketball in India.