Thu, 26 Aug 2010 16:57:21 GMT | By Sai Mohan

‘Basketball can become India’s no.2 sport in five years’, says Pau Gasol

Mumbai: The Mahindra NBA Challenge has entered India with a solitary mission – that of making basketball India’s no.2 sport in the next five years. Some of the contenders include tennis, football, hockey, shooting and motor racing, but the National Basketball Association (NBA), along with the Basketball Federation of India (BIF) and Mahindra, is confident of living up to its pledge.


‘Basketball can become India’s no.2 sport in five years’, says Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol knows a thing or two about a non-American player thriving in the big league. The 7-feet tall Spanish player spent his childhood in his birth country before moving to America in his teens. Today, Gasol, who is a two-time NBA defending champion with LA Lakers, is widely regarded as the best international player in the league. He is currently in India to run clinics for participants and coaches of the Mahindra NBA Challenge. The 30-year old sat down with MSN for an exclusive chat.

How difficult is it for an Indian to take up basketball? It obviously comes naturally to Americans?

It is lot more difficult when it is not one of most played sports in the country. We need to ensure that kids are given the right opportunities of playing the sport, and facilitated with certain things. It will be a lot easier if they are nurtured. These sorts of events and programmes conducted by the NBA, IBF and Mahindra will certainly attract kids. They will realise how much fun basketball truly is.

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