Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hailed the first-ever NBA match in the country as a historic moment for India-US relations.
"Yesterday was a historic day for sports in India and India-USA relations. Mumbai hosted the first-ever @NBA match played in India. The game between @Pacers and @SacramentoKings was a treat for sports lovers. Congratulations to both teams for a riveting contest. #NBAIndiaGames," PM Modi tweeted.
The PM also said that basketball is very popular among the youth in India. "I hope more youngsters pursue basketball and also contribute to the Fit India Movement," he said.
Basketball 🏀 is very popular among our youth. The @NBA matches set the stage, or rather set the court for greater linkages in sports. I hope more youngsters pursue basketball and also contribute to the Fit India Movement. #NBAIndiaGames— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 5, 2019
In the first-ever NBA match in India, Indiana Pacers defeated Sacramento Kings 132-131 on Friday at the Dome, NSCI, SVP Stadium in Mumbai.
These games are a part of both the team's pre-season matches. This was the first time that teams from a North American sports league played in India. Before this match, the Kings (7) and Pacers (7) played a combined of 14 NBA matches outside North America.
Nita Ambani, the chairperson of Reliance Foundation, presented the ceremonial "Match Ball" to NBA officials ahead of the game. The match ball handover was a mark of welcoming the sport to India.
Youtuber and musician Bhuvan Bam sang the National Anthem of India at the event.