Ebony Hoffman: National Basketball Association will take over India

Updated: Oct 01, 2019, 08:00 IST | Ronald Chettiar | Mumbai

Ebony Hoffman is in the city as part of an NBA grassroots community camp for girls in association with the Reliance Foundation

Former WNBA star Ebony Hoffman (centre) with the girls from the Reliance Foundation Jr NBA in Parel yesterday. Pic/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Former WNBA star Ebony Hoffman (centre) with the girls from the Reliance Foundation Jr NBA in Parel yesterday. Pic/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi

USA'S former Women's National Basketball Association star forward Ebony Hoffman is optimistic that India will have its very own NBA player soon and it will surpass cricket as the nation's No. 1 sport very soon.

Hoffman, 37, is in the city as part of an NBA grassroots community camp for girls in association with the Reliance Foundation.

"NBA is coming to take over India. We know cricket is the No. 1 sport, but we have come here to grow our game. We want to show India that basketball can be their sport," said the former Indiana Fever and Los Angeles Sparks star.

The camp is a part of a build-up to the NBA India Games, which will be played between the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers at the NSCI Dome, Worli on October 4 and 5.

The cager, who currently plays for Besiktas Istanbul in Turkey, said India will get to see a different level of basketball during the two pre-season games. "We have two great teams that will play in Mumbai. Sacramento Kings have a very young squad and you will see all types of dunks and moves. And then you've got the older Indiana Pacers squad, who have Myles Turner (Power forward), Victor Oladipo (Point guard) and lot of other talented players. We are going to see a wider range of talent which has never been seen live before in India. I am excited for all the Indians who will be there at the games," said the cager, who was a member of the USA Women's U-18 team which won gold at the 2000 FIBA Americas Championship in Argentina.

Talking about the talent in India, Hoffman said there is potential which needs to unearthed. "There are few players in the NBA academy in New Delhi who are showing a lot of promise. India will have an NBA player soon. They are on the verge of reaching the level of NBA. And there are others too, we just need to find them," said Hoffman, who has also acted in the American TV series, Comedy Bang Bang.

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