In 10 years, India will have its own Yao Ming: NBA's Mark Tatum

Updated: Dec 21, 2018, 09:02 IST | Ronald Chettiar | Mumbai

Last year was the first time we broadcast games in Hindi because we wanted to take the game to the segment that doesn't understand English," said Tatum

Mark Tatum
Mark Tatum

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum yesterday hailed India as a basketball destination and said he believed that a Yao Ming (China's NBA super star) in a decade. "India does not have a Yao Ming yet, but in the last three years we had Satnam Singh — the first India player to be drafted into the NBA [by Dallas Mavericks in 2015], Sim Bhullar -- the first Indian to play in a NBA game, and Amjyot Singh, who plays in the NBA's G league," said Tatum at an event in the city to announce that there would be NBA pre-season games between Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers on October 4 and 5, 2019 at NSCI, Worli.

Tatum continued: "Now there is a young kid named Princepal Singh, who trained at the NBA academy in India and is now training at the NBA global academy in Australia. He has a sharp chance of making it to the NBA's first division. It'll take time but the talent is there and in 10 years India will have its own Yao Ming."

As the NBA looks to expand its market here, Tatum admitted they faced various challenges. "The major challenges are to understand the local culture, the fans and to make sure the content continues to remain relevant. Last year was the first time we broadcast games in Hindi because we wanted to take the game to the segment that doesn't understand English," said Tatum.

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