The popularity of basketball is growing in India and in future the world would get to see an Indian playing in the NBA League, seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry said here on Sunday.
“The popularity of basketball is growing. Pretty soon with the talent which you (India) have here, hopefully, you will get somebody in NBA League one day,” he told reporters here.
Horry further said that India is a great market for basketball and people here can relate to some of the big names in the sport.
Replying to a related query, Horry said the place for international basketball in the world is huge as France, Spain and Argentina all had five NBA players in each team participating at the 2012 London Olympics.
“The sport is global and that is what the NBA is trying to reach out to. You don’t have to be in America. There is so much talent around the world,” he said.
Horry said he loved spending time with the youth because they looked upon him for inspiration.
“I love to help and share my experience to them. When I was growing up, people in my neighbourhood would take me to the court and talk to me about the dos and don’ts of basketball, which was helpful. Sometimes, you just need that one spot, that one piece of advise to pursue glory,” he added.
Horry has always liked working with the youth. He played 16 seasons in the league, earning two rings with the Rockets in 1994 and 1995, three with the Los Angeles Lakers (2000-02) and with the Spurs (2005 and 2007) before retiring in 2008.
Horry said he liked to share three with the youngsters, which is perfect practice, having fun and confidence.
“Confidence is a big key. You have to believe in yourself and your abilities. It is okay to fail because everybody cannot be perfect. You have to keep trying and be perfect. You are never going to reach that stage, but it is fun to keep trying and be perfect,” he said.
The former San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets player spoke for more than an hour to a group of kids at Sree Kanteerva Stadium.
More than 100 kids between the ages of 12 and 19 attended the the finals of the Mahindra NBA Challenge.
Horry, along with Troy Justice, Senior Director, Basketball Operations India at NBA India, also hosted a Generation Adidas Players clinic for 40 select players.
The Mahindra NBA Challenge featured a new player development program in each city called Generation Adidas.