The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Mahindra Group, one of India's largest and most respected companies, on March 9, 2009 announced a partnership to launch a new multi-city community-based recreational basketball league. The new league for boys and girls ages 14 and up will tip off in Bangalore, Ludhiana and Mumbai in collaboration with the Basketball Federation of India (BFI). Mahindra will be the title partner of the new recreational league, Mahindra NBA Challenge, which will run for seven weeks annually in two divisions: youth ages 14-17 and adult 18+. The BFI will work with the NBA to implement and oversee league operations across all markets. The Mahindra NBA Challenge will provide basketball enthusiasts and newcomers to the game the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the game and apply their skills in a fun, competitive environment. 'We at Mahindra & Mahindra are delighted to join hands with NBA for the development of Basketball in India. It is our on going endeavour to promote and help build a strong foundation for basketball. Mahindra NBA Challenge is a small step in this direction to help engage the youth at the grassroots and create awareness about the sport,' said Sriram Ramachandran, Sr. General Manager, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
After the great success in Mumbai the Mahindra NBA Challenge moves to Bangalore. Play will begin on July 17 when participating teams tip off at the Kanteerava Stadium courts in Bangalore. Individuals and teams interested in registering can visit www.nba.com/India/Mahindra. The Challenge will be structured as round-robin play with teams playing one game a week over a seven-week season. League champions will be decided in a weekend-long postseason knock-out tournament at the conclusion of the regular season in each city. 'Mahindra is the perfect partner for the creation of a new recreational basketball league for Indian fans,' said NBA Commissioner David Stern. 'The BFI, Mahindra and the NBA share a long-term commitment to growing the game in India and to using the values of our game to make a positive, lasting impact in Indian communities.' 'Basketball continues to grow in popularity across India and now youngsters in Bangalore, Ludhiana and Mumbai will have the opportunity to play in an organized league and further develop their skills,' said Harish Sharma, Secretary General of BFI. 'The launch by Basketball Federation of India and the NBA of the Mahindra NBA Challenge is very exciting and will help accelerate the basketball development of Indian youngsters.'