I am going to go out on a limb and predict by the 2032 Olympics, India will makes its debut on the highest platform of the international basketball stage, the gold medal game. The matchup will feature a resurgent American team, coached by the odd-trio of Lebron James, Greg Paulus and Justin Timberlake, squaring off against the rising basketball powerhouse, India.
My confidence and competitive concerned about India’s rising basketball prowess stems from exchanges like that of the George Mason University faculty delegation that is currently in India holding basketball clinics to teach skills to young players as well as teaching coaches and administrators how to develop, run and market successful basketball leagues and clinics.
The two faculty members, Robert Baker, associate professor of sport management, and Craig Esherick, assistant professor of sport management and former Georgetown University men’s basketball coach, are traveling in India as part of a U.S. Department of State Cultural exchange program meant to develop a new awareness of basketball in the country. The trip is funded by an international sports initiative grant.
Read more about the trip and the development efforts at http://eagle.gmu.edu/newsroom/784/, with an excerpt below.
George Mason University Faculty Take Basketball to India
Two George Mason University faculty members are currently traveling in India as part of a U.S. Department of State cultural exchange program meant to develop awareness of basketball in the country. Robert Baker, associate professor of sport management, and Craig Esherick, assistant professor of sport management, will hold combined coaching clinics and youth basketball camps in various cities throughout India. The trip is funded by an International Sports Initiative grant.
The grant, awarded through the U.S. Department of States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will fund a multi-part plan meant to provide a formative experience in the lives of participating Indian boys and girls. Clinics and camps will be held in six cities in India with Baker and Esherick providing direct instruction, cross-cultural exchanges and hands-on experiences for players, coaches and league administrators that will not only enhance skill development, but also broaden participants understanding of diverse cultures.
“Basketball has become wildly popular all over the globe,” says Esherick. We have a chance to help popularize basketball in a country that has not yet wrapped its arms around this sport. Our trip is also a great opportunity to exchange ideas about coaching all sports as well as to discuss best practices in sport management.
Baker and Esherick have partnered with J.D. Walsh, a former player and coach who is also the founder of JDBasketball School.
During the clinics, the trio will teach fundamental basketball skills to Indian youth while simultaneously exposing them to American culture through the basketball experience. Coaches and administrators will learn how to run and market successful basketball leagues and clinics in India while coaches are also taught various instruction methods.
The fact that the State Department has a program for grants to use sport on an international cultural exchange and development basis is recognition of sport as a cultural connection, says Baker, who is also the director of Masons Center for Sport Management. Our intent is to take the best practices of basketball leadership in the U.S. to India.
(The press release continues at http://eagle.gmu.edu/newsroom/784/)