Global ball: NBA to play exhibition games in India next year

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA will play its first games in India next year.

The league announced Thursday the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings will play two exhibition games Oct. 4-5 at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai.

The NBA, in another step toward expanding its global footprint, says these are the first games in the country by a North American sports league. NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum and NBA India managing director Yannick Colaco in Mumbai announced the matchups.

The Kings are owned by Vivek Ranadive, the NBA’s first Indian-born majority owner. He calls it an honor to help bring the game to his home country. He says the “world wants to watch basketball and India is a fast-growing new frontier.”

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Since 2006, more than 35 current and former NBA and WNBA players went to India on league visits. The NBA opened a Mumbai office in 2011.

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